Sunshine in the hay

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hay bales

Winter times were frigid, and the skies were overcast. January weather was a

dreary polar blast.

When March arrived, the sun would shine, you’d finally feel its heat. This time of

year holds memories feeding hay for cows to eat.

I’d choose an afternoon with sunshine and a clear blue sky. Then climb up top the

haystack, prob’ly fifteen haybales high.

Back then the bales were smaller mostly eighty pounds or so. I’d dig around a bit

and try to open-up a hole.

One by one I’d throw a bale of hay off to the side. And make a square hole big

enough to crawl right in and hide.

I left the hole wide open. Let the sun bear down its heat. Then found a bale of

hay to sit. A warm alfalfa seat.

I sat there contemplating. Whittling hay stems with my knife. And realized how

blessed I was. There ain’t no better life.

And then the sun took over. Her warm beams put me to sleep. ‘Twas more than

just a catnap. More like forty winks so deep.

I dreamed of warmer days to come, with green grass in the field. No more

feeding cows with frozen gloves and fingers chilled.

I must have slept an hour, maybe two or even more. ‘Cuz there’s nothing like the

warm sunshine to heal and help restore.

But then as luck would have it, no more warmth to feel and hold. A black cloud

covered up the sun. Replaced with winter cold.

I woke up with a shiver. Figured, “Better get to work.” My loafing time was over.

Didn’t have the time to shirk.

From top the stack I gazed out at the cows in the corral. Then threw a half a

dozen bales to feed and keep ’em well.

But when the days were sunny, you would see me top the stack. I’d be soaking up

the sun and praying summer to come back.

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Bryce Angell’s father was an outfitter and guide for 35 years, and Bryce was there to shoe and care for the horses and help him do the cooking. Bryce is from Idaho and still rides into the Tetons, Yellowstone and surrounding areas. His poems are mostly of personal experience.

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