That’s not hay they’re spreading
to mulch a garden, to keep the weeds
down. That machine isn’t a hand
shovel to turn the ground for a bed
of seeds. It’s made for shallow ditch-
digging, on Exchange Street.
For the other land taken in Vermont.
It’s today’s day for laying pipe,
to bring the gas here from somewhere
underground, far away. Where
the earth is split in half, divorcing
rock from stone, so the fueled air
can escape and not stay where it was
meant to stay. Not trapped exactly,
yet building up in case our planet
needs its natural jet to nudge it
one way or the other, to adjust
its wobbling orbit. Isn’t that
what the future’s for? To feel
the earth move on its own.
To not foul itself by leaking gas
into water, into air. To not turn
neighbor against neighbor.
Especially in winter.
When we rub our hands together.
January’s fire. When we can see
our breath, the mist that clouds
a window. When we step outside
to bring in wood, to sweat by
shoveling a state’s worth of snow.
To factor in the other ways we have
to heat and cool a factory.
The sun, the wind, our love that bales
hay when we can.
— Gary Margolis, Cornwall