Robert Bly

Waking on the Farm

I can remember the early mornings—how the stubble,  
A little proud with frost, snapped as we walked. 
How the John Deere tractor hood pulled heat 
Away from our hands when we filled it with gas.  
And the way the sun brought light right out of the ground. 
It turned on a whole hill of stubble as easily as a single stone.   

Breathing seemed frail and daring in the morning. 
To pull in air was like reading a whole novel. 
The angleworms, turned up by the plow, looked 
Uneasy like shy people trying to avoid praise. 
For a while we had goats. They were like turkeys 
Only more reckless. One butted a red Chevrolet. 
When we washed up at noon, we were more ordinary. 
But the water kept something in it of the early morning.