And She Smiles

Rising before the sun, they dress
and go out to do the chores.
Feeding the animals, cleaning the stalls,
they work in silence.
Knowing the routine, knowing what
to say and what need not be said.

In the light of early morning,
they go in to have breakfast.
After, they tend the fields,
hoe the garden, water the flowers.
Bent backs, aching knees, dirt
in the crevasses of their fingers.

In the afternoon they drive to town.
Parts for the tractor, 20 feet of chain,
a few groceries they didn’t grow themselves.
Back home, the pump needs welding,
boards need replacing on the hen house.
He saw a fox across the field.

In the evening, the wheat moves in waves.
At dusk they sit in chairs on the porch
and watch the sun go down. She takes
his caloused hand in her caloused hand.
He holds her’s gently and says, “I love you.”
And she smiles.

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