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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Summer (the season) (07/09/09)

TITLE: Stacking the Hay
By Emily Gibson
07/11/09


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Every hay crew is the same
Though the names change;
Young men flexing their muscles,
A seasoned farmer defying his age
Tossing four bales high,
Determined girls bucking up on the wagon,
Young children rolling bales closer,
Add a school teacher, pastor,
Professor, lawyer and doctor
Getting sweaty and dusty
United in being farmers
If only for an evening.

Stacking
Basket weave
Interlocking
Cut side up
Steadying the load
Riding over hills
Through valleys
In slow motion
Eagles over head
Searching the bare fields
Evening alpen glow
Of snowbound
Eastern peaks

Friends and neighbors
Walking the dotted pastures,
Piling on the wagons,
Driving the truck,
Riding five bales high
In the evening breeze,
Filling empty barn space to the rafters,
Making gallons of lemonade in the kitchen.
A hearty meal consumed
In celebration
Of summer baled, stored, preserved
For another year.

Hay crew
Remembered on
Frosty autumn mornings before dawn
When bales are broken for feed
And fragrant summer spills forth.
In the dead of winter
During the darkest blowing icy nights
The bales open like a picture book
Illustrating how life once was,
and will be again
Rainy spring nights, hay
Becomes summer soft bedding
For new foals' sleep

Worth the dust, the blisters and cuts,
The scratchy grass inside shirts
Sweating and sneezing
To guarantee summer sunshine
In the barn
On the darkest of days:
Communion.


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This article has been read 467 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Charla Diehl 07/17/09
Growing up in farm country, I truly appreciate this poem and the work involved during hay season.
Jim McWhinnie 07/18/09
Being a farm boy, I give thee thanks for this wonderful piece.

I loved the rhythm and the word choice and how they seem to interplay with one another.

Beautifully written.

Send this in to Country magazine.
Laura Manley07/19/09
This gives pause to remind myself that it's writing like this that brings you to the Masters section of the Writing Challenge. Even though I know nothing about the bailing of hay, etc. this gave me a little insight and I found it intriguing. Thank you for sharing. Laura