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All morning in the strawberry field


They talked about the Russians.


Squatted down between the rows


We listened.


We heard the head woman say,


'Bomb them off the map.'



Horseflies buzzed,


paused and stung.


And the taste of strawberries


Turned thick and sour.



Mary said slowly,


'I've got a fella Old enough to go.


If anything should happen...'



The sky was high and blue.


Two children laughed at tagIn the tall grass,


Leaping awkward and long-legged


Across the rutted road.


The fields were full of bronzed young men


Hoeing lettuce, weeding celery.



'The draft is passed,' the woman said.


'We ought to have bombed them long ago.'


'Don't,' pleaded the little girl


With blond braids.



Her blue eyes swam with vague terror.


She added petishly, 'I can't see why


You're always talking this way...


''Oh, stop worrying, Nelda,


'Snapped the woman sharply.


She stood up, a thin commanding figure


In faded dungarees.


Businesslike she asked us,


'How many quarts?'


She recorded the total in her notebook,


And we all turned back to picking.



Kneeling over the rows,


We reached among the leaves


With quick practiced hands,


Cupping the berry protectively before


Snapping off the stem


Between thumb and forefinger.






"A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool."- William Shakespeare

2 comments:

Thats a pretty deep poem - challenged my ol' brain cells.

I'm glad they were strawberries and not mushrooms...

...and hopefully, we are beyond the "bomb them off the map" point of "civilization". Most of the Russians are people just like you and me - and not ememies nor do they have any animosity towards us despite the brainwashing propaganda of both russian and american leadership.

April 23, 2009 at 12:06 PM  

The war sentiment is still present, it funny how things change so vastly during times of war.

April 24, 2009 at 8:20 AM  

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