Grandpa Moves the Hay

‘hey, bud!
got the tractor running
let’s put a bale in the feeder
for Cres & the Bob!’

lightly and lovingly
she invites him out of the recliner
into coveralls & a mild January morning

tugging a cap
low over his ears
he grips the handrail
descends the porch carefully
one step at a time

leaning on her arm
he climbs into the half ton
and we head back
to the big shed
for the tractor

pulling himself into the tractor cab
labours the old heart & he pauses
breathing hard
settles, adjusts, readies

gravel crunches
and the tractor lumbers
through the dim shed
prowling towards the bale stack
like a hungry, slow-moving agri-beast

sharp tines pierce a fat round bale
& the journey begins

he guides the tractor & the bale
to the corral

outside the gate
he sets the bale down
to grab the bale on end

she opens the gate
shoos the horse & calf aside
stands beside the big circle
of welded pipe

arms raised
she signals by hand

he watches each gesture
adjusts hydraulic levers
shifting half a ton of hay
as easily as you or I handle
a salad fork

her arms drop

he releases the grapple
the rich green round of hay
settles into the metal crib
perfectly centered &
dropped in place

a lifetime of farming
to move the hay

~ Cheryl King

Cheryl King is familiar with canola fields, rolling hills, beaver dams, cow pastures, poplar trees, the smell of grain dust and the bawling of calves in late fall. For the past 16 years she has lived in Grande Prairie. A busy consultant & educator, she works too much, reads endlessly, wishes for more time to play with paper & paint, and is occasionally blessed by having a poem arrive in her head.

One Response to “Grandpa Moves the Hay”

  1. Farm life well presented. Nice scene.

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