I remember the hum of Francis Temple’s Farmall
mowing in the dark of a mid September night,
its deep, desultory blasts that were also guttural-
half motor, half cat-as it labored in the meadow, right
to left, felling hay in six foot rows
with a sickle bar that rattled like a snake.
I woke with a start thirty years ago
to the lullaby of that motor in the dark.
That much newer now for being maintained,
it takes me back with its piston sounds like a rhyme.
I see it still on the screen of night as it strains
through the rows of waist high grass that is the time
that does not pass as long as it grows, that falls
like hair in the tractor’s lights this far from hell.
Chard deNiord, from VT, entered 2002-07-30