Linking with dVerse Poets for Haibun Monday…
I remember the harvest moon when we still picked corn. My husband’s father hunkered inside the tractor-mounted picker on a clear October night. He throttled ahead, pushing the machine’s snouts into the rows of dry corn, stripping off ears, spitting them into the trailing wagon and leaving bent stalks in its wake. At the end of the field, the satisfied farmer unhitched his full wagon by pulling a rope and riding ahead to wait.
Raised as city girl and college-educated, I learned to drive tractor and maneuver an empty wagon behind the picker, unhitch, then turn to back tractor in front of full wagon. It was like a mechanical dance when performed smoothly. I’d hop down and run to lift tongue of empty wagon in line as picker slowly backed to it until holes lined up and I could drop hitch pin into place. Dad turned machine back into standing corn for next pass across field where my husband met him with another empty wagon.
After hitching up full wagon, I’d climb back on tractor, and haul my load to a corn crib; one of our round wire cribs or a wooden-slat shed. I drove straight past the folded elevator; dismounted to lower heavy hopper to ground. Climbed on tractor again to back the wagon against hopper and raise wagon box with hydraulic hoist, tipping it back. A utility tractor ran the elevator as I reached over to open/close the wagon’s small back door to allow rolling corn ears to fall into the hopper at my feet. A moving chain with metal flights carried the corn up, up, up to top of roof where it dumped ears into open crib.
I wore earplugs to deaden the noise, my skin chafed in the cold wind, my eyes protested the dust and my body fought fatigue after an already long day of harvest (switching wagon, hauling load, emptying wagon, repeat). But to witness an abundant crop under a beautiful moon felt like God smiling his blessing on us.
shadow hides raccoon
full moon rises on cornfields
kernels of plenty