Plowman – a poem by Matthew Ball

turned soil belowbehind
a wave of redbrowns and greyblacks

when I look directbehind and see
a straight line and perfect curl
an exhilaration like no other

when I look overout at what I’ve done
fold after fold of deep tissued groundmuscle
my stomach begins to curl

with this groundswell I force
the earthpores heave and vomit
a froth of carbon and dust

stay focused it’s getting done it’s got to be done
maybe never again if we nuture it right
if we feed the soil

I find calm in the trill of a killdeer  and
the mute flutter of three mourning doves
cutting over the gurgling beast I drive

remember how I got here
an ancient unsettling task
helps me know those millions long gone and far off

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