Monday, February 7, 2011
in the night was the winter time
when I was about six. Papa had sent
the tobacco crop to Louisville
to be sold, and we sat by the fire
that night, talking and wondering
what it would bring. It was a bad time.
A year of a man's work might be worth
nothing. And papa got up at two o'clock.
And I woke up and heard him leaving.
He saddled his horse and rode over
to the railroad, four miles, and took
the train to Louisville, and came back
in the dark that night, without a dime.
- Wendell Berry
What I love about this poem is how Wendell Berry sits you down on the log next to him by the fire, where you wonder whether or not papa's work will amount to anything. I especially resonate with the last line of the poem. Something human inside of me knows what it's like to be disappointed, but something human inside of me also knows that I need to get up the next day and go back to work.