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Tractor

by
 The tractor stands frozen - an agony
To think of.
All night Snow packed its open entrails.
Now a head-pincering gale, A spill of molten ice, smoking snow, Pours into its steel.
At white heat of numbness it stands In the aimed hosing of ground-level fieriness.
It defied flesh and won't start.
Hands are like wounds already Inside armour gloves, and feet are unbelievable As if the toe-nails were all just torn off.
I stare at it in hatred.
Beyond it The copse hisses - capitulates miserably In the fleeing, failing light.
Starlings, A dirtier sleetier snow, blow smokily, unendingly, over Towards plantations Eastward.
All the time the tractor is sinking Through the degrees, deepening Into its hell of ice.
The starting lever Cracks its action, like a snapping knuckle.
The battery is alive - but like a lamb Trying to nudge its solid-frozen mother - While the seat claims my buttock-bones, bites With the space-cold of earth, which it has joined In one solid lump.
I squirt commercial sure-fire Down the black throat - it just coughs.
It ridicules me - a trap of iron stupidity I've stepped into.
I drive the battery As if I were hammering and hammering The frozen arrangement to pieces with a hammer And it jabbers laughing pain-crying mockingly Into happy life.
And stands Shuddering itself full of heat, seeming to enlarge slowly Like a demon demonstrating A more-than-usually-complete materialization - Suddenly it jerks from its solidarity With the concrete, and lurches towards a stanchion Bursting with superhuman well-being and abandon Shouting Where Where? Worse iron is waiting.
Power-lift kneels Levers awake imprisoned deadweight, Shackle-pins bedded in cast-iron cow-shit.
The blind and vibrating condemned obedience Of iron to the cruelty of iron, Wheels screeched out of their night-locks - Fingers Among the tormented Tonnage and burning of iron Eyes Weeping in the wind of chloroform And the tractor, streaming with sweat, Raging and trembling and rejoicing.

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