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This poem is taken from PN Review 9, Volume 6 Number 1, September - October 1979.

Two Poems Donald Hall

All winter your brute shoulders strained against collars, padding
and steerhide over the ash hames, to haul
sledges of cordwood for drying through spring and summer,
for the Glenwood stove next winter, and for the simmering
     range.

In April you pulled cartloads of manure to spread on the fields,
dark manure of Holsteins and knobs of your own clustered with
     oats.
All summer you mowed the grass in meadow and hayfield, the
     mowing machine
clacketing beside you while the sun walked high in the morning;

and after noon's heat you pulled a clawed rake through the same
     acres,
gathering stacks, and dragged the wagon from stack to stack,
and the built hayrack back uphill to the chaffy barn,
three loads of hay a day from standing grass in the morning.

Sundays you trotted the two miles to church with the light load
...


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