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Harvest Tales - Mitchell County 04

Harvest stories submitted by Kansans for the online exhibit, Wheat People.
Submit your own at kshs.kansasmuseum@ks.gov.

Greg German

The 1st Day of Harvest

Greg German submitted a sequence of ten harvest poems, three of which are included on these pages. The poems follow a young boy, his father, and grandfather through their own personal harvests. Currently a resident of Kansas City, Kansas, German wrote about his experiences on the family farm near Glen Elder.

The 1st Day of Harvest

Anticipated like Christmas
it appears like an old friend
at the door. Sun warmed
fields, crisp waves
of wheat, swell and ripple.
Ripe grain rattles applause
to its own arrival. Pleasured
with attention, the combine
waits. We pace around it,
work ourselves into sync.
Drive belts are slapped
for tightness. Hard to reach
zerks found and greased--
fresh oil rechecked.
Dad starts the engine.
Every nut and bolt shakes
with the first rush of fuel.
Smoke, black diesel,
spot-stains the air.
Grandpa is young again.
Crawling, the machine
tastes the crop - the first
bit of bread.
Dry as crust, chaff
and wheat dust sparkle
behind the machine.
My brother and I wade
knee-deep into the field.
We splash in the wake
of fresh-cut stubble--
explore handfuls
of straw, search the ground
for leftovers. Soon
we will all be running.

Greg German also submitted the poems Lunch Time and The Last Day of Harvest.

"Harvest Tales" is part of the online exhibit, Wheat People:  Celebrating Kansas Harvest.