Poem.com Newsletter: Poem of the day

Nathaniel Perry

Yesterday I spent all daycollecting rocks from onescraped stretch of our driveway to spreadalong another. The sunwatched me the whole time. At firstit was just me movingthe tractor every ten minutes to dumprocks in the loader, provingnothing more, you could say, than thata man can move a lotof rocks if you give him enough time.Worse lessons have been boughtby more than sore hands, if you follow.Though to say I was on my ownmight be stretching things a bit.The tractor is on loanfrom a friend, who himself came to helplater, bringing his girlswho ran with my kids collecting stonesbehind the tractor, hurlingthem into the three buckets we seton the box blade like Skee-Balltargets. The kids even got to steerthe tractor some. When allthe buckets were full, we laid the rockin the muddy swale where the rainhas been trying for years to take the road.And the sun approved, long stainsof its afternoon light by then stretched thinon everything around us.I kept thinking, as we worked,of Frost’s bitter chorusof walls and neighbors and “old-stone” foolsbent to what they knew.Though we were making a road, at least,a clearer passage throughthe hidden fields and darker woods.But still that primal thingis there. When you’ve been given sweatand rocks and care to singabout, you sing the song you know.Like this: I’m not alone.May the curious prayer of work keep mein contact with the stoneand who knows what else. Something big,or bigger for sure than me,which is good, and I don’t even needto know what it might be.
from the journal IMAGE