Harvest of Sorrows

by Tim Murphy

When swift brown swallows
return to their burrows
and diamond willows
leaf in the hollows,
when barrows wallow
and brood sows farrow,
we sow the black furrows
behind our green harrows.

When willows yellow
in the windy hollows,
we butcher the barrows
and fallow the prairies.
The silo swallows
a harvest of sorrows;
the ploughshare buries
a farmer’s worries.

Now harried sparrows
forage in furrows.
Lashing the willows,
the north wind bellows
while farmers borrow
on unborn barrows.
Tomorrow, tomorrow
the sows will farrow.

“Harvest of Sorrows” previously appeared in The Deed of Gift.

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