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COTTON HOEING TIME

The morning breaking fast is done
way back about nineteen sixty two.
This field now fully in the sun.
There'a a full day's work to do
in Mississippi summer's heat.

We pile out of the pickup truck
men from the cab, kids from the bed
all hoping with a bit of luck
some clouds will form to shade our heads.
but sky stays clear and blue and neat.

Young eyes like mine took in a field
with rows of cotton near a mile long.
Blue blossoms now their only yield.
Sun already beats down hot and strong
and red dust covers all our feet.

Everybody chooses their first rows
youngest children shown just what were weeds
(they even had foreshortened hoes).
At some silent signal hoeing proceeds.
The sigh of sharp hoes start their beat.

The lives of weeds are all cut short
with blades welded by skilled hands,
children' hand were another sort,
but all were used to working these rich lands.
Chop a few weeds, step, repeat.

Soon the work turns automatic
and conversations and jokes begin
random as some kind of static
quipped back and forth by women and men
almost as if work was now a treat.

Thinking back, in a strange way it was
this gathering of neighbor helping neighbor
while air was filled with dry flies' buzz
and companionship trumped monotonous labor
In a time I recall as near sweet
and sometimes wish I could repeat,

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Editing stage: 

Comments

the looking back on the task of helping your neighbors and the feeling that hard work wasn't all that hard when you were doing something for them. You make the clear blue sky and the sun beating down on the backs of the people very vivid and the notion that the children were taught that helping your friends and neighbors is a good thing. A lesson not taught so much anymore. ~ Gee.
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I'm pleased you like this look back to the old time days. Thanks for coming by

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