Through rows of un-picked strawberries,
thick, cracked trunks of coast oaks,
even under the lush of over-grown vine and blackberry needles,
their songs sound sad and moaning--
like a tired cow
baying off the ranch-hand's careful eye
standing over her newborn calf.
Peer through the waist-high weeds
gone tanned golden by the summer sun,
and see the scarved heads of women,
baseball or cowboy capped heads of men
all singing out of tune, out of sync--
see the smiles.
Children in pickup trucks,
hands placing strawberries in crates
slung across backs;
hands stained red from bursting berries,
juice running down their fingers;
hands caressing wind-worn young faces,
knees brown with mud and blood-red
from berries that have already fallen dead
into the furrows between
the rows and rows
of green and red.
Hear their song,
it sounds almost as beautiful
from this distance.