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This poem is taken from PN Review 218, Volume 40 Number 6, July - August 2014.

‘In the Music of Labour’ and Other Poems Togara Muzanenhamo
The Wire Gang

Seasons slip and flow through jackalberry and wattle.
Veldt and rock glisten with the redolence of minerals
rising off dew. Savannah skies brighten. Rollers settle
on telephone lines, the thin shine stringing paddocks
out north where flat farmland undulates into blue hills
textured soft by the way the distant rural land looks.

By the time the grass is dry, a worn path runs along
the wire-line. Tobacco smoke accompanies the work –
thuds on earth and shunts of steel, the auger’s song
screwing deep into the soil – hollowing out each hole.
Broken ground receives treated wood, creosote dark
on calloused hands piling in each staggered gum pole.

Beneath munhondo and stinkwood, bales of wire
gleam – sun-spat and charged. A sack of milled grain
stands beside an old billycan boiling over an open fire.
Men’s shadows toil side by side with nature and labour –
...


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