Bread in Hand

"Sometimes, because of high humidity,combining doesn't start until late afternoon. Combine operator Clayton Jones works into the night harvesting the barley variety ""alba"" on the Hunton farm near Eugene, Oregon."

In homage to those who provided food to us all, especially during the pandemic.

By Hiram Larew

But even after all of this

farmers keep farming

for every one of us

They bend the sun 

and raise the earth 

each day for us

They round each rough 

and tamp down these fears 

for each of us

Yes after all of this 

They’re the hope of life for us

And even after all of this 

the baggers stackers sorters drivers checkers 

field workers and grocery store sweepers too 

are here for us

Like bowls of life 

they give us each our every day 

and so renew that sense of trust for us

And even after all of this 

and just as much 

are those who volunteer to serve the soup 

The ones who help and give and care 

on our behalf

Their hands and hearts 

shape our thanks —

No matter what else happens 

they are life itself for us

And yes even after all of this

These days seem like furrowed fields to us — 

with darkest shadows across the view 

but also with 

rows on rows of green 

that grin wide and new 

just like those who stand and wave 

with bread in hand 

for each of us 

through all of this

This poem first appeared on the Poetry X Hunger website.

About Hiram Larew
Larew holds a PhD in Entomology from OSU and is award-winning published poet. His Poetry X Hunger initiative, with support from the United Nations and others, encourages poets to contribute to local and worldwide anti-hunger efforts. 

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