by Harry Moore
Beneath the seething August heat
bolls of cotton crack, then burst
in fluffy locks, green leaves twist,
turn brown and fall. Black faces glisten
as workers bend to knee-high stalks,
plucking the soft fiber from prickly burrs,
packing handfuls into the canvas sack they drag
till it’s strutted, then dumped on croaker sheets,
tied and weighed at day’s end,
three cents a pound. Ice cubes clink...
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