Secateurs sharpened, shoulders lower
furrow on furrow, over and over.
Wet and blue the ripe grapes fall,
slide as they land, skin on skin.
I pause to breathe the musky air
heavy with heat and fear of mould.
The farmer watches, acting bored,
counting buckets with a sodden stare.
Bending our backs beyond the need,
we stay until the night is blind.
As if we are not paid by weight
but measure what we feel is owed.
If you've any comment on this poem, Siobhan Campbell would be pleased to hear from you.