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.