Harvesters’ Rest

Harvesters Resting 1883 Daniel Ridgway Knight

Noon day sun

is a whip in the boss’ hands

The swing of the pitch fork,

like a metronome,

leave muscles taut

a heat mirage distorts the horizon

and the day’s end

straw prickles and itches skin


Lunch break is a blessed relief,

to rest against a stook,

nibbling on bread and meat

tames the hungry beast,

cool water tipped to lips,

midday chat softens

the hard edges of labour


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