poem #51

the tractor
I was riding a tractor one time
with a mower attachment, cutting wheat fields.
The day started inauspiciously when I inadvertently
beheaded a bunny. The poor things feel the ground rumble,
get all quivery and scared, and sit tight. Too bad gophers
don’t do the same. In any case, I had my own fright
when the blades caught a stray strand
of barbed wire that snapped and
shot out in pieces every whichway.
One lodged in my left back wheel,
piercing the two-inch rubber like
rice paper. I was pissed ‘cause
I had to replace the tire. A few hundred dollars,
a few days’ pay. Now I think how lucky I was
that braided metal dart didn’t hit a few feet higher,
a few inches to the right, making a neat hole
in my back, kidney, liver, or lung.
I suppose the moral is
tractors are fun.
I mean, it’s the things that nearly kill you
that stick deepest in the brain.
– Lionel Harrington
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