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Unending Rows


fdelano
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Unending Rows

 

 

Cockleburs cling to my double-cuffed

overalls, I squinting through sweat in

eyes set on the marker tree shading only

the end of an unplowed field. The proverbial

admonition echoes the threat of looking

back in admiration incurring a crooked

row ahead. Mollie Mule farts loudly,

stopping at my Whoa!, its stink permanent

in the still, heavy air. Futilely, I wipe at

salt-sweat with soaked sleeves before

jiggling leather straps to start the bottom

plow, sloughing dry, red dirt, my stinging

eyes again finding the guiding tree. Finally

standing in the meager shade, I soak my

sweat rag several times with water from the

stowed Mason jar, to wet the mule’s eager,

sucking lips before tilting the glass for my own

two, quick sips. Hawing to turn the plow into

the next row, I loosely wrap the reins on the

right curved handle, finding a new target tree in

the distance, thinking only about the second

water jar waiting, as I block any other thoughts

of my future.

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to wet the mule’s eager,

sucking lips before tilting the glass for my own

 

There is a lot of caring in that passage.

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High praise indeed! Just ordered the Kindle edition of Wintering Out. Thank you.

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Frank E Gibbard

Firstly I liked this as I do your slices of life narratives generally fd. May I ask for clarification on this?

What "proverbial admonition"? Is this a Lot's wife reference perhaps or am I miles off base? Frank

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Hi Frank. Not sure of the source, perhaps a Biblical admonition. My brother-in-law slave (me) owner taught me not to look back while plowing but to concentrate on the ground ahead. I see his warning as proverbial and applicable to almost any endeavor in life.

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Frank E Gibbard

Oh thanks, I get it fd.

Anyway the sound you had there admonition/admiration is a great fit by the way and I would like to say it is a grand engrossing account of an experience foreign to townees like myself.

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Loved the atmosphere! I did a uu retreat @ a methodist retreat center recently- Concurrently there was a methodist retreat whose theme was the 'Plowing straight ahead in the kingdom' we asked what this meant? the answer: http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/2011/07/dont-look-back-while-plowing.html

 

So that is the 'origin' of your landed BIL's admonition;-)

 

Con/Jur/D

thegateless.org Come on over and check out my poetry substack y'all;-) Or if your bored, head to the Zazzle store: https://www.zazzle.com/store/gateless. If you buy anything I lose a bet, so consider that before you violate the digital rules.

 

Gate(less.png

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Thanks, Doc. When I was about 11-12 and learning to plow, I also remember that the instruction was not to look back to admire the row. In recent years I have remembered the warning when mowing the lawn. The proverb works for any endeavor.

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nobody can tell a better story than you, Franklin, you always put me right there. One of my favorites of yours.

 

t

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Ha! You're likely tired of reading the thing, MQ. :biggrin:

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There's a lovely warmth and human feel about this Franklin. It makes a perfect contrast to the iciness of Ted Hughes' winter poem "Tractor" . G.

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Thanks, Geoff. Looked up "Tractor." Enjoyed and maybe even understood most of it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Gatekeeper

Enjoyed the time warp. These days, of course, there is no need to look at all - just set the gps, relax and wait for the end of the row, in your air conditioned cabin. Somebody somewhere must be writing a poem about that.

from the black desert

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Thanks, GK. I hope no one writes that poem. :unsure:

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