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At first the stubborn growth resists him, till each stroke
is fluently flung to clear the knee-high grass, his task
down to an art, the pendulous swing of knees slightly
giving, his right arm catching the sun wet off the blade.

All day the work, shuffling steps into shuffled clearings,
beetles and crickets rising off cordite clicks sparking
off stone, bearded chin sequinned with sweat. The heat
seems not to bother him, but steels his concentration

deep in the trials of his faith. Why the sun rises and falls,
why his jaundiced wife believes God will save them all,
is just as unclear as why his newborn’s unfinished death
hangs heavy on every dawn. In the music of his labour,

each composed thresh throws slashed grass to sunlight,
each mastered stroke floats timed beneath the weight
of the sun burning deep into his heart, the mastered art
of his arm fluent with the song the hours constantly sing.