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The Field

The men stare,

dark eyes,

work-thin faces,

leather aprons

bright with wear;

focus on a camera

to mark this day,

when the heat rose

early and hard

so that the dust

sat in the light

and filled the throat,

here in a wide field,

grain cut at its feet.

The apron holds that day

sixty years on.

It is in its fibre.

Work and memory.

Locked in hide.

No smiles here:

bob a day and found –

grain and heat and sweat;

A week in a field.

The rattle of slats,

bugger the flies,

muck in your eye.

The old man’s here,

thin as a stick.

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