Gert Strydom

(03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)

For hours long


When I was but a small boy
and lived day by day
on the farm

when the maize were all ready harvested
the stems were cut off
and we had to feed the threshing-machine
where it stood whining above
the feed pit

and that green John Deere thing
ate everything that we fed it
slicing it down to pieces and bits

and while the sun went high
we unloaded the trailer
time and time again
and felt the work
reaching into tired
arms, legs and backs

and sometimes had to jump
down into that pit
on top of the threshed hay
and tread it in
to make way for some more

and that heartless machine
demanded despotically
until the pit was filled
and when it died down
I was deaf from its churning sound
for hours long.

Submitted: Monday, July 12, 2010

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