Picking Grapes

dawn starts up
the sound of a tractor
between my legs buckets
to fill the grid of days
marked out before us

the boss a barrel
living in fear of rain
at the wrong time
a lisp spraying poison
across a row of pickers
back for more insults?

we snip the wind
       snip the sun
hanging red liquid
autumn crushing
drops of light
stored in bunches

thigh to thigh with a man
dark-skinned eyes
moving along the rows
touchy feely
fingers creeping
through the vines
shadow hands reaching
up the skirts of leaves
then stripping them off

flat on my back
at smoko a rhythm
in the pulse of the season
rotting down
wine-black the river pouring
through the legend of vintage
in a straight line

Paula Green

Paula Green lives on the East Gippsland coast writing songs and poems.

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