Some poets are esteemed,
	But I,
	I shall be only
	Steamed—
	Slowly cooked
	Through and through
	By southern heat
	And haze.
	My blood
	Will ooze and bubble
	With gentle
	Southern thoughts,
	Words honeyed
	By the sun
	That shined
	Upon my ancestors
	Working clay and loam
	To eke
	A better life
	From a land
	Both harsh and fecund,
	Beautiful
	And austere.
	Those farmers
	Tilled the soil
	So I might
	Cultivate the mind—
	Yet, how little
	Either harvest
	Sometimes seems to me.
	I have done well—
	But how much good?
	One scarcely knows.
	The fields I've plowed
	Have born fruit,
	If at all,
	In times and places
	Beyond my ken.
	What doctor
	Wields his skill
	Because of some
	Video I bought
	Twenty-five summers gone?
	What engineer
	Builds her bridges
	Or guides a computer
	Because of some
	Bit of library lore
	I once imparted
	In some
	Long forgotten class?
	I cannot know.
	I can only plow
	In the summer sun,
	Not looking back
	To see how straight
	The rows,
	How tall the corn.
	With God's help
	And luck
	The harvest
	Will be good.

6/20/01

© Fred O'Bryant. All rights reserved.

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