One night I went to bed and on soft pillow laid my head,
Drifted off into deepest sleep with no flurry of worry…
Flits of face-bits and place-pieces flew here and there,
Ever flying, never settling, forever eluding adhesion
Of the mind to bind in cohesion of sense and sensibility.
Field of farm being plowed one day to yield folds of gold;
Row on row, plow after plow, hands holding, bodies pushing,
Some much further along than others, sisters and brothers,
And fathers and mothers … And there were my own I saw!
In awe I gazed and tried to understand this farming band.
There were my siblings plowing along without any quibbling,
And the older two just a few paces ahead in their own rows;
And then my parents, side by side, further along and strong;
And there were cousins, aunt and uncle, and dozens of others;
Yet at row-ends stood old friends and family, happily done.
“Perseverance makes the difference,” sweet voice profoundly
Sounded near my ear. “And do you know what it is I show?”
Clearly, yes, I knew how dreary the work of each one’s life,
And every row has its beginning and end; can we plow again?
Then my grandparents smiled and waved across the dirt miles.
Not everyone finishes well, but I remember the smell of soil,
And feel the boiling heat on my back, and lack of any water
To quench my thirst, but I’m hardly the first nor the last,
As I look in the distance and see some reward of persistence,
For there are now my parents, too, and they call not to fall.
Behind me my children, learning tight grip and right stride;
So, too, around me malady of family ~ travesty of division ~
But voices cry to try, not to impress, just to press forward
Toward the end, over every field-bend, that’ll one day yield
Harvest of gold untold, but heart is heavy and ground so hard.
“Do you understand? There they are on far horizon, and waiting
For you, not baiting. Do you understand the command to on-press
Perhaps, but my heart-soul is marred and the ground is charred.
But wind carries voices, “Press on, son, you’re almost done!”
“You’re almost done!”