"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Winter Warrior



The sun burns a path through the morning fog
to capture the transient russets and golds along the road
that wither and waste with winter’s approach as a lone tractor creeps
across a field on a final till fore the ground is left
to settle and sleep and recover.
The old man on the tractor across the way
feels each bump and dip through his booted feet up to his hips,
he knows the clay and the sandy hill and the stubborn drain
of the muddy low. The lay of the land is choreographed
in the analytic brain of our winter warrior
who refuses to go south with the rest of his friends.

This is where I’m from, from how far I’ve come
to come back to the quiet of October russets
where the birds hover and hide in the dry rustle of the corn.
They swoop across the land in flocks
for they need their kind come winter.
For now they rest in the standing corn
as the tractor crawls across the field with a man at the wheel—
an old tractor that needs a firm hand on the wheel,
the swollen knuckles of the winter warrior.

10 comments:

Anthony Duce said...

Wonderful imagery in the words.. The true warriors in a way with a much nobler cause…
Enjoyed

Yvonne Osborne said...

Hi Anthony!
Thank you. Yes, these old farmers are the true warriors!

Margaret said...

Hmm. Delicious poetry prose - It's obvious you've lived this and love it.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Margaret,
Thanks so much. I have my dad to thank for cultivating in me a love of the land and the environment. I hope I can pass a little bit of that on for him.

Pet said...

Right now I feel like a Winter Warrior too. A bit of a cold helps to feel rusty and fighting against Old Gods and all that. But one has to keep fighting I guess, against all odds sometimes. Thanks for the beautiful poem.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Fighting against old Gods, indeed. They have the upper hand come winter. Thank you!

Jemi Fraser said...

Love it! Those winter warriors are tough!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Thanks Jemi!

Vanessa V Kilmer said...

Russet is such a great Fall word. Wonderful imagery.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Hi Vanessa,
Thanks! Such a pleasure to hear from you.