Hay

by John Berger

from Pig Earth in the Into Their Labours Trilogy

Read by Emma Rye

The flowers in her hair
wet in the morning
are dry by ten

Her apron clings
stones like hands
press in her pocket

Tomorrow
the scythes will gasp
as her clothes fall down

On this slope she’ll lie
hands on its shoulders
feet on the road below

Gathered in lines
her cocks will crouch
like couples in the moonlight

Next day in the sun
she’ll walk on her hands
to get as dry as fire

Combed by the women
lifted by men
she’ll ride the carts

Front wheels locked
with a pole through their spokes
I’ll take her down

And when I pack her
second wife under my roof
my sweat will blind me.