Tomorrow, we sow
Job done, you pull hard on a fag. Outside, gulls pull worms from the fresh earth. In a smoke-clogged cab, you slope off to an elsewhere place.
Your grandfather, solid behind the plough; his cob mare Bonny, head down, pulling for all she’s worth; gulls shaking up the quiet there too. ‘How quickly they come when the clay is turned’, the old man quips.
Again, your mobile rings. ‘We’ll try again.’ she screams. ‘We’ll remortgage your precious bloody farm if we have to.’
They’ll work on, horse and man, and you, the youngster, hanging back; vexed with the birds; the man in you refusing to cry for dead duck worms.
As if on cue, the ping of a text. A short one this time. ‘Your Sixty-a-Day. Your Sperm Motility. Your Fault’
Later, when it’s nearly dark and rain runs off the shed roof, the old man will light his clay pipe. With the heel of his boot he’ll knock clods from the plough’s wheels. He’ll lift you up to wipe the soapy sweat from Bonny’s back.
How, in God’s name, can you tell her the farm is on its knees?
‘Tomorrow, we sow Bonny’ he’ll say. ‘Tomorrow, we sow’.
Frances Browne writes poetry and short fiction and is a member of Boyne Writers Group. She is copy editor of Boyne Berries magazine. Her work has been longlisted, shortlisted and placed in various Irish and international writing competitions.