Hook

By Edna Coulson Hall

 

June.  July.

Mowing, raking, bailing –
hay-making with Dad, with Granddad.

Wet?  Rain?  When?
And for how long?
How much?

Dry days and hot.  Hot.
Sweating, reddened deep,
shoulders blistered —
we bless the sun.

Atop the squat Ford tractor
pulling slow, pulling straight
through sweet scented alfalfa.

Hay hook in hand
stabbing bail and bail and bail –
lifting, twisting, stacking.
Neat.  Make it neat.
Winter might come early,
might stay late.
Pack the mow, snug’em tight
and neat.

Hay hook for hay work,
for carrying buckets heavy with grain,
for bolting a gate lock.

I scratch my name into
its work-slicked handle
with a rusty nail –
“Edna.”

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