Sunday, April 24, 2011


After many years I drive on this old highway,

past the carpet store’s giant Viking, still there.

Flat wide open fields where the green beans,

asparagus and potatoes grew for the factory

up ahead, to the right. I can’t tell if it’s open.

Instead, I drive by big sod farms and nurseries.

Glad to see businesses thriving here once again.

Workers are no longer the Hillbillies of the past,

no longer Puerto Ricans, Jamaicans, Japanese

and of course you won’t see Estonians either.

Time wrote about a global farming community.

Now they are from the far reaches of Mexico,

so far away a few claim they don’t even speak

Spanish, some only know Zapoteco or Nahuatl.

Maybe they sound like those actors who played

the parts in the subtitled movie, Apocalypto.

I wonder when I see the young men in the field

if they are hollering to one another in these

languages as they wrap burlap around balls of

dirt and roots of the tiny azalea bushes, the same

way I did 40 years ago at my grandfather’s nursery.

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