Poem: An Uncertain Crop

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An Uncertain Crop

The corn is late this year, the victim of spring rains.
The stalks are not as high, not as certain
in their race with the Vermont winter.

It is an uncertain crop, a slave to fate and weather.
Midway through the season, it becomes a waiting game.
out of the hands of the men who work the fields.

You are a spectator. An outlier whose living
runs through wires and circuits, living here.
A rural soul without the skills, content,

no, more than content, to live here in this quiet place
of fate and farms; to live here but without the fear of seasons.
No wonder you will never belong.

Still, they are gracious to you. A decade of being in place
and they have decided you have staying power, a thing of value,
a thing these workers of soil know better than most.

They pray with you. You wait at their deathbeds with prayers and promises.
You preside at weddings and baptisms.
You listen to their stories.

One by one, the children leave. Few come back,
beliving life in the city is more certain than living by the seasons.
when nothing could be more false.

It is a matter of timing. All things are.
And the timing is rarely our own. We live in waiting,
our lives an uncertain crop,

waiting for the perfect mixture
of sun and rain.

About this poem

The crops really did get a late start here in Vermont. The spring rains made the fields unworkable for the longest time.

I once had someone tell me that they wondered if love had as much to do with timing as anything else. I think it does. I am blessed to have found the right person at the right time in my life. That’s a rare gift.

From these two things, this poem.


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