There’s work I do willingly
with no cheque, yoke or muzzle.

Alone I may never
sow a field, light a fire
or bend my spine over and over in this hazy heat.

But there’s a rhythm in two rakes
and a swing in three shoulders;
there’s life in swaying scarf to scarf.

And there’s an endurance: transcendent,
when one woman’s ache
is everyone’s concern.

Already, there’s enough:
rest is taken before all bones are tired;
food is served before every belly roars.

Sweat flows like wine
when the silo we fill could feed a village
and this sun that shines won’t stay or be stowed.

Response to prompt overworked, and a visual meditation on ‘Haymakers at Montfermeil’, Courtesy National Gallery of Art Washington.