It had been a dry fall, without morning fog or dew
leaves are likely to shatter if you pull them off dry.
Already November, with an auction on the horizon.
It was his Christmas check or the last of the money.
Not a word said between them, men climbed high
in the rafters, straddled poles and beams and formed
a chain to pass stakes with sticky stalks, cured tobacco.
Others pulled it, put it into piles- tips, brights and lugs.
They worked in silence, each knew exactly what to do.
It was Saturday, someone plugged in a boom box and
as they worked, they heard the play by play, straining
to hear their team battling with the perennial favorites.
Finally the announcer’s famous call of “Give… him… six!”
and “Touchdown Tennessee!” went over the airwaves.
The men yelled and hollered, but never stopped working.
They kept pulling, grading, and baling the burley tobacco.