By John McGrath
Dan Foley dug his field but not for gold,
Though long ago his father showed him how.
‘Plant trees,’ he said, ‘The ground’s too poor to plough,’
But sons don’t always do as they are told.
Dry summers gave a glimpse of buried store
And so Dan dug where mighty trees had grown,
Where cows had grazed and summer crops were sown
And men had thrived two thousand years before.
Great golden roots of long-dead deal he found.
Dan raised them one by one from acid ground,
And as he filled their void with fertile soil,
He knew the field would soon repay his toil;
For land is like a poem, it draws men back
To write another line and leave their track.
©Sep 30, 2019 John McGrath
Previously appeared in author's recent collection,
After Closing (Moybella Press 2021).