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The Planter

Now he is almost out of sight, a hat pulled down and bent at the wheel;

eyes on the crop as the curving steel forms little mountains of soil; an

old man with strong hands guides the little orange tractor.

Here he is again, spanner on the tines, tightened just so, and

they flex in the deep earth and the motor shows its displeasure.

He comes here every year to grow food for everyone but himself:

Baggy trousers smeared in grease, old shirt and rising dust,

the gulls trailing and wheeling, wings against the purple hills,

orange beaks stabbing at the turned earth.

It is a man’s pleasure: alone with a machine, set fine


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