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Lunch in the Field
by Michael Escoubas

I'm not sure it even happens
these days with farming air-conditioned,
mechanized and computerized.

But back then in the 50s and 60s,
when baling hay meant stacking
heavy bales secured by twine

on a shaky, moving rack with a tie-in
row on top to stabilize the load,
and itching chaff and dust sticking

to boys' sweaty skin and arms aching
from hooking, dragging and throwing
them, the best part of the day

comes at three in the afternoon
when a pale-green pickup truck
parks beneath a shady oak

in a corner of the field. A woman,
fresh as morning dew, waves us in
and spreads before us chicken-salad

sandwiches, cold fruit and lemonade—
We don't let on that we kept our eyes
trained on that corner of the field

looking for the pale-green pick-up
turning in, backing up into the shade,
and that compassionate lady

thinking of us, men in boys' bodies,
tired enough to drop but not admitting so—
Oh, the joys of being a farm kid back then.

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