my father muttered like clockwork
in disgust, his orange pickup kicking dust
as we drove past the last fields of Yuma.
They had their job; he had his,
and would return 12 hours later.
With thorn-scarred hands,
they'd grab hold the rusty truck bed,
pile in back, back-broke, tired,
eye slivers glinting neath glad-heavy lids.
The smell of squashed berries and sweat clung to them,
even as the wind whipped at them;
It seeped into the foam bursting through
the cab's frayed vinyl.
The setting sun lit against the side of my father's
pinched face, crow's feet stretching.
I always heard the murmur of carnival-like music
a distance from where we let them off,
in the brief moment after the brakes screeched to a halt
and the gear was thrown back into drive.