We broke horses, broke
calves of their mothers’
milk, broke our hands
herding heifers, broke
axes and hammers right
off their hafts, broke
bread with thanks, broke
bank accounts, broke our
backs over banks of taters
and beets, broke beets
from their greens, broke
peas from their pods,
broke the silence of night
with a little something
spoke, broke necks of mice
that got in our traps, broke
the ice in the tank so the
stock could drink, broke
chickens with a twist
of fists, broke their yolks
into breakfasts, broke wide
our wallets for the offering
plate, broke the stitching
on our Bibles’ spines, broke
harsh north winds with lines
of pins, and then, when
all was said and done, we
broke the bonds of earthly
toil when by our work we’d
been broke down, and,
over the soil that mended
where we lay, there ended
one, then broke another day.