The Old Farmer
What drags these weary feet across the arid land
Summer after summer in the burning heat
Under an unforgiving sun?
There is no gain in it:
Take away the costs and the interest lost
- No need for seed -
It would pay more to keep the money in a bank.
What then makes him rise at dawn
And struggle on until midnight?
He has a pension - he would not live well otherwise,
In a modern house, with a new car and a colour TV.
He could just put his feet up and rest.
But no: he knows that rest is death,
That without this back-breaking muscle-mashing toil
His bones would just begin to come apart,
His mind would lose its way:
Television is no substitute for sense.
What keeps him hacking at this cruel earth
Is his unending need for meaning,
And, despite his constant cursing,
His lifelong love.
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