POEM LVIII: “FARM EQUIPMENT”

There is often no telling what it’s for.
Driving along behind something with thousands of saw teeth blades,
mounted in pinwheels on what appear to be great colanders,
it is impossible to fathom how the thing actually functions
much less what crop it harvests.

Whatever it is, it’s clear
the thing could take your arm clean off
just for looking at it funny,
and so you stay well back,
even though the driver is doing nineteen miles an hour
and would be easy to pass.

And while you hang back,
you invent elaborate lies to tell your daughter, who is bored in the passenger seat.
The machine in front of you becomes a chipmunk pulper,
a gnome harvester, a soul reaper for a very efficient rural Death.
Your daughter is looking at you, horrified.

Well, fine, you tell her.
You come up with a better answer.
And she says, Mom, it’s for corn.
As if that were self-evident.

No end to the young’s attempts
to make their elders behave properly.
By the time your daughter learns
to enjoy her imagination,
you’ll be down amongst the mole people,
waiting in the earth
for the coming vibrations
of the astonishing, whirling Resurrection Day.

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