You bent forward patiently with twelve
Yoke of oxen, their damp warmth
And soft breath wrapping you, though cold,
Turning tilth sucked your feet.
Your nostrils savoured fresh earth
‑ And fresh dung. But always your eyes
Aimed for their mark, engraving the fields
With straight, fertile furrows.
Effectiveness. Problems, debt, disease and death,
Barrenness of land or woman, great or small
Personages, your skill with God always answered ‑
Precursor of a Greater, you secured God's solutions.
Water was your special element
Signifying and creating
Both life and death:
To the thirsty kings coolness
But in your enemies’ eyes blood.
Knowing the bitterness you
Could cleanse the bitterness ‑
Since you had crossed Jordan
The axe swam in Jordan:
Was it because when young
You poured water on the hands
Of Elijah, the man of God?