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Change in Appetites

Text of Poem

We had a hired man whose remarks
seemed comical because he had a
different outlook than we did. In the
spring the farm bulges with birth,
generation and gestation, the boar
having the sows, the stud the mares,
the bull the cows, birds hopping it
wherever you looked, even the shelled
corn in the bin moist and heating.
This is the farm’s business and we
go about our work as a matter of fact,
and jot down dates in a soiled notebook,
and work up the fields with an eye
on the weather. One day when rain
drove us into the barn we leaned on
a door waiting for the sun to come out.
Worms lay on top of the ground, birds
had a thanksgiving, this barred rock
rooster took out after a hen and just
as he caught her he saw a worm beside
her and stopped to eat it. Our hired man
nodded and said, ‘‘I wasn’t never that hungry.’’

First Line
We had a hired man whose remarks
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
South Dakota Review 16 (Summer 1978) 46.
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