Venerate The Plow

VENERATE THE PLOW                               photo: "Wonder Valley" by Tim Goodman

A woodcut from Jefferson's time promotes

the moral edification that comes from farming.

It shows a man harnessed behind a team of oxen

and gripping the long hard extension of himself.

Behind him stands a woman, delighted--

cradling a sheath from some past harvest

and wearing a halo of stars.

Jefferson had great faith in this occupation.

Two hundred years later, American men still do,

as they struggle to feel their God inside.

If Jefferson were alive, he'd have trouble finding the earth,

buried as it is under our vain operations,

but the fields are still here, in every face we meet,

in every exhausted body still connected to the firmament.

Wonder Valley

 © Eliot Schain