Sweat trickles, drops in salty beads from nose and chin.
Ahead the straight green rows stretch, beckoning my hoe to do its worst,
Or perhaps its best. The perspective depends—weed? Or corn, bean, tomato?
Hot noon spills across the June landscape.
A dragonfly swoops by, iridescent lightness in heavy air. A woodpecker drums,
Then calls irritably as if he is tired of being too hot, too sweaty, too heat-exhausted.
Dust puffs from the chicken yard where a hen is taking her daily bath;
The rooster struts but is subdued by the sun’s fierce glare.
Cut weeds wilt almost instantly; the savage hoe strikes and strikes again.
A sudden breeze flutters my hair, ruffles my cotton shirt and dries sweat
Into white ribbons running down my arms, tracking a path through dust and dirt.
I lift my head and inhale the unexpected sweetness of honeysuckle.