Harvest time, an Image then a Poem by : Darryl Davis
Harvest Time (Bois-De-Villers)
October is the month of knots.
Loose ends find each other,
Life is defined once more.
At least, this was how I saw it,
As a visitor, an urban tourist,
There to play peasant at the
Granite knob on the green knoll,
Which was always well worked into
A sticky brown smear by the time
The first tree had blushed.
For the leathery people who lived there,
It was but another day with no name beyond
That which had been scratched
On the calendar at the beginning of the year.
A single stroke which dotted one line
And indented another in calculated haste.
Indeed, it was just something else to be done.
Just another list to be compiled
Through calluses and brown sweat.
In the fields we pulled our backs bent.
Each individual plant represented six months of sun and rain,
Weeks of drying after picking and
One hard-earned day of food more.
As we lumbered about, marveling
At our clothes covered in clay
And the soreness of our hands,
They were careful to pick up everything
Which had fallen from our floundering wheelbarrow
And studiously counted each load before
Sliding everything down the chipped hole
To the root cellar for stacking and drying.
At the day’s yawn, they scurried around us still,
Too busy warming creaking chairs,
Too tired to much care.
Cramped from thumb to elbow,
Our fingers were crinkled walnut branches,
Knotted and done like the damp bundles
We wouldn’t need to bear a thought of
For another year to come.