Mark Van Doren
The last thin acre of stalks that stood
Was never the end of the wheat.
Always something fled to the wood,
As if the field had feet.
In front of the sickle something rose—
Mouse, or weasel, or hare;
We struck and struck, but our worst blows
Dangled in the air.
Nothing could touch the little soul
Of the grain. It ran to cover,
And nobody knew in what warm hole
It slept till the winter was over,
And early seeds lay cold in the ground.
Then—but nobody saw—
It burrowed back with never a sound,
And awoke the thaw.