An Unskilled Rotor-Tiller Tiller of the Soil

By Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall

Plough Monday was by-passed some weeks ago
The Virus of Many Names kept me abed
And then the snow and ice kept me inside
And then – indolence, indolence, okay?

But today, oh, today!

The morning was fresh and cool and damp and still
I wheeled the tiller into the garden patch
Fresh gasoline, then primed the little bulb
And turned the red plastic lever just so

And pulled the cord
And pulled the cord
And pulled the cord
And said bad words
And pulled the cord
And pulled the cord
And pulled the cord
And snarled bad words
And pulled the cord –

Pow!

For smoke and fire
And noise – hooray!
Then forward the tines

The tines at first bounced off the new green grass
I pulled the smoke and noise machine back, back
And held the smoke and noise machine in place
And wrestled it, pinning it to the earth until

It bit into the grass, the bright spring grass
And hurled it back, and then some earth, and more
And still more earth, sweet earth, the nourishing earth
Flung up and out and back again, and down

And there the earth must rest for a few weeks
Then to be turned again, sweet and warm
To receive the ready seeds of happy new life
And join in the miracle of Creation

And in the summer when the soft breezes blow
Zinnias and sunflowers and wild marigolds
Will lift their heads and sing hymns to the sun
And bees and hummingbirds hum the “Amen”

And in those days I will speak kind words
To them all, and study rotor-tillers no more

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