Gert Strydom (03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)
Lovely To His Eyes
A farmer walks up to his horse and it is spring again
and he bridles it and there is pain
in the old man’s body,
but the earth is soft underfoot after the rain.
In the distance a red Massy Ferguson tractor
ploughs drawing neat lines, but he’s still the administrator
and it’s early spring with every thing living rejoicing
but the ache in the flesh reminds him of the words of the doctor.
His son is out there tracking the field
and it’s as if he has now to yield
before the young, who are vital and strong
just have to go along, but he still has some power to wield
and his eyes measure the ploughed field, the smell of fresh earth
surrounds him, almost like a token of new birth
and his young wife looks up and smiles with eyes full of promises
while he secures a saddle with a girth,
puts a foot in a stirrup and reach up
for the knob on the saddle and for moments they look at each other
and her gaze is enticing, filled with spirit
her hair is blowing in the wind like surf on the beach
and the ardent Arabic horse knows its master well
acts with love, as if under his spell
while they gallop away
and he has got cancer, is a dying man, unwell
but life is really great and the sun, wind and sky
is familiar like any other day, where he is saddled high
and they meet him as friends, companions before he turns,
rides home to a wife who looks lovely to his eyes.
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