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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