The Plough

See how the ploughman looks back to cut well,

His frame turned on an iron seat to see the quality of cut,

Where the silver boards slice and fold the black earth on itself;

How he tinkers and measures, two wheels in the gutter.

Slow and even now, there is no need for speed –

Not here, where the iron horses drag a slanted rear wheel,

Where the soft autumn earth gives beneath the foot

And the tractors move in a wide arc at land’s end;

Squinted eyes under the battered felt – all for a straight cut;

The little engines spitting widening smoke rings into the blue.

Thrum and furrow, shares deep in the belly of the earth,

And, always, the black soil curling over and over

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