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Plain chambray

Plain chambray shirts and faded denim pants,
coarse straw hats shaded youthful, sweating brows;
as sudden rainfall rescued thirsty plants.
hay, stored safely, beat the raindrops' dance.
Tired boys prepared to milk the cows.

Dairy cows by habit find their stalls;
singing in the barn quells weariness;
the cool river beckons as dusk falls,
sounds of rinsed milk pails join night birds calls.
River bath, kind evening's cool caress.

Where are the boys who sweat while pitching hay,
who lay beneath the basswood tree at noon,
drank lemonade and hoped, at end of day,
that goals aspired they'd reach along the way,
laughed as the sunset yielded to the moon?

Frayed-edged straw hats live now in memory,
sun burned backs and friendly twinkling smiles,
or protest when the goal sought could not be,
through misty eyes their faces dear I see.
They leave the mark of living, loving miles.

08/31/2013 Carol Welch
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