Mower County Poems

Sharpening The Wheat Scythe

Grandpa's grinding wheel
Sucked water like a sponge
When we sharpened his wheat scythe.
It took a day to get the blade
Shiny as a moon sliver.
I fed water to the wheel,
Cooling it while Grandpa
Pumped the foot pedal,
Bicycling to a keen beginning.

Sparks flew,
The wheel moaned,
Too dumb to know
What resurrections it worked
Rolling in place.
It finally grew eccentric and
Thumped against our sharp hopes.
We had ground it down with
Dull bucksaws and plowshares.

We rolled it to the tool shed,
Hammered it to gravel,
And cast it to the ground
Among the chickens.