Hay-Cutters

Time tells them. They go along touching
the grass, the feathery ends. When it feels
just so, they start the mowing machine,
leaving the land its long windrows,
and air strokes the leaves dry.

Sometimes you begin to push; you want to
hurry the sun, have the hours expand, because
clouds come. Lightning looks out from their hearts.
You try to hope the clouds away.
'Some year we'll have perfect hay.'

by William Stafford

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