Haying: June 12

Laura Grace Weldon shared one of her poems in a comment to my last post. It is such an excellent poem that I want to make sure no one missed it. It is from her collection Tending. I hope y’all enjoy it as much as I do.

Haying: June 12

I follow windrows as they curve
around the field’s geometry.
Rows of cut red clover and timothy
lie yet unsquared.
Driving our ancient tractor, I’m satisfied
with a perfect turn, the roller coaster rush
of throttling up over ruts.
I don’t care that our finances are precarious
as the glue holding together my glasses.
A conjunction of deep blue and green
plus birdsong, equals peace.

My sons lift bales from the field
a smooth ballet of strength
that plays like baling twine
unrolling steadily through the day.
My daughter stacks teetering squares on the wagon
as her father pulls it, head turned watchfully.
Afternoon light shines in their hair.
They call to each other, laughing as they work
voices held aloft as chaff’s long glittering.
Even swallowing this day I couldn’t feel more whole.
Hay piles up in the barn’s dark recesses
like stored sunlight.

Laura Grace Weldon

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22 comments on “Haying: June 12

  1. steve says:

    Very nice.

    And it’s not often that the word “tractor” is used so eloquently in verse

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      She chooses and arranges the words beautifully, doesn’t she. It’s not just a tractor. It’s an “ancient tractor.”
      I like the description of the grass lying “yet unsquared.”
      And anyone who’s ever baled hay can appreciate the “head turned watchfully.”
      But the homerun line is “Even swallowing this day I couldn’t feel more whole.” That’s a feeling I know and love.

      Like

  2. BeeHappee says:

    Thank you for sharing, Bill and Laura! Stories and poems about haying are like “stored sunlight” for me. 🙂
    My kids keep asking to repeat over and over the stories how my sister and I fell with the whole tall loose hay wagon when the metal wheels got into an uneven ditch once or twice. (we would sit on the top of the hay coming home from far away fields).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve fallen more than once off a hay wagon. The last time I was on top of a bale-ful (hah!) wagon, helping to unload in the barn. I fell and nearly smacked my head on a wooden stall door. After that my family wouldn’t let me do anything involving heights….

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      My childhood hay baling memories aren’t as pleasant as my grown-up memories. I remember having to toss those heavy bales up onto the wagon when they weighed nearly as much as I did. I don’t recall that any less was expected of the skinny boy. But worst of all, I had an intense fear of snakes back then and someone had told me a story about a snake being baled into hay bale. So every time we got up hay I worried that I was going to pick up a bale and find a snake head pointing at me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. MaryQuiContrary says:

    So evocative….I can almost smell this poem. As I read, I can see it all quite vividly; this scene is one that we recreate every year……except that I’m the one who usually drives the pick-up tractor and wagon with Son on the baler, and Hubby, Daughter-in-law and Grandchildren providing the loading and stacking crew behind me. The last three lines really pluck my agrarian heart-strings; she comes as close as anyone to articulating that indefinable fullness of heart that comes as a bonus with a winter’s worth of fragrant hay piled high in the barn.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. NebraskaDave says:

    Bill, today’s poem post jogs some memories from the past. Those were good days that shaped the beginning of my life into the years ahead. Many hours were spent tossing bales into a barn and onto an outside stack. The life on a small farm (homestead) is hard work but simple and satisfying. Thanks for re posting the poem. I would have missed it as March is a busy garden time and not as much time is spent reading my favorite blogs. I hope all is well on White Flint Farm. Thanks for always leaving a comment on my not so frequent blog. 🙂

    Have a great hay bale day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m honored you’ve shared this Bill. Many thanks.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      I’m really pleased you shared it with me and I wanted to make sure anyone reading my blog saw it. It captures exactly what I was trying to say in my post. It’s a beautifully written poem.

      Like

  6. Laurie Graves says:

    Wonderful poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a beautiful poem. I love every line.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you Bill and Laura; it’s been a while; but this was just like being there and, as Bee says, just like stored sunshine… (Lol, I’m even getting a little itchy just thinking about it; )

    Like

  9. Lynda says:

    Good morning, Bill,

    I have caught up with your past week of posting and am enjoying your energy in planting. How lovely of Laura to share her poem with you. Hereafter, I will never be able to look at a bale of hay and not think of it as stored up sunshine!

    On a much smaller scale we too have begun the garden process. Tying up berry canes, pulling up the first of the weeds in our raised beds, adding our compost to each one, and chasing the chickens to keep them from eating the seeds we plant before the fencing goes up! And except for the never ending battle of the violets, I do love spring. (And to think I couldn’t get them to grow in California!) 😉

    Blessings for the planting season,

    Lynda

    Like

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