I am the farmer, stripped of love
And thought and grace by the land’s hardness;
But what I am saying over the fields’
Desolate acres, rough with dew,
Is, Listen, listen, I am a man like you.
 
The wind goes over the hill pastures
Year after year, and the ewes starve,
Milkless, for want of the new grass.
And I starve, too, for something the spring
Can never foster in veins run dry.
 
The pig is a friend, the cattle’s breath
Mingles with mine in the still lanes;
I wear it willingly like a cloak
To shelter me from your curious gaze.
 
The hens go in and out at the door
From sun to shadow, as stray thoughts pass
Over the floor of my wide skull.
The dirt is under my cracked nails;
The tale of my life is smirched with dung;
The phegm rattles. But what I am saying
Over the grasses rough with dew
Is, Listen, listen, I am a man like you.

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