A tractor draws the distance to a close,
Defining land from overwhelming sky;
Earth is seeded for another try:
The sun commands, the rapeseed duly grows
While you, discarded into flames, receive
The least reaction, last seen as soon forgot.
You're gone but who will care, who tend the plot,
Who frame the photos, log the love and grieve?
Me too, I guess, will leave so much unmissed -
A tear, perhaps, a verse, though likely none.
And who could want the fuss when all is done?
Best quiet, modest, unsung, unkissed.
The tractor parts the earth with simple grace,
Its blades reflect the sun; the sun ploughs space.
This was written one afternoon in a remote part of rural France. News reached me of the death of a barely known acquaintance. I took little notice in my mind but as I sat watching a tractor in the distance plough the land, regularly left to right, right to left, I realised that such changes have an effect or may teach us something. Had it been a closer friend who had died, there would not have been room for such subtle reflection.