Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hauling Hay

I was a teacher
my salary was meager
I spent the summers
hauling hay.

The Texas sun
was searing at dawn
when I rose to see
if my hay truck
would start.

I climbed in the cab.
looked at the ground.
The truck had no floorboard
just blue smoke and sound.

The hay fields were strewn.
Square bales of alfalfa.
Heavy to lift,
tough to inhale.

We stacked them high
on the flatbed behind us.
One hundred and twenty
at twelve cents a bale.

We made for the barn.
A loft with no air flow.
Sweating and stacking
and swatting the wasps.

The scene was repeated
as long as the sun shone.
Then we, and the truck
coughed our way home.

Dennis Price


  1. 12 cents a bail? Wow!

    Loaders received 2 cents a bail. The driver, a whole penny. Round bails baled out at 75 to 125 lb. each, depending on the farmer. Stock truck pressed into service as a hay wagon.

    If I had a choice between two more vacations in Nam as opposed to one more season in the hay I'd make the same decision I did then.

    Hello Vietnam.

  2. (giggle) it reminds me of Garth Brooks song "That Summer".
    I know how hot is was in Oregon in the summer of the haying... the barn was not a place I went.. But riding in the truck.. I did. Sticky itchy job.

  3. My teaching salary was $5200.00 per year.


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