Cutting the Corn
Heelwedge, grass nail, snead and doirnins; Handles on a scythe, The farmer leaning oatwards Mows from side to side. Three lifts or four the sheaf full, In shorter stubble five, Three on three the stocks stood When the binder ties. The reared them, then they doubled, When the ears had dried Two sheaves inverted headed Like Peter crucified. The handstacks were collected As round and round they plied, The sedgegrass left for thatching The grass rope, twisted, tied. The generations garnered Unchanging down the years With hymns of Harvest Reaping And psalms of gleaning ears. An Aramean wandered Across a Bible leaf And Ruth of home was sighing Her tears dried on the sheaf. The reaper on the skyline Stone against the scythe Blending in the strawlight With ancestors who died.