Gary Soto reads

My Tooth Is Long, My Work Even Longer

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My tooth is long, my work even longer.
I snuffle, I grub that you may grub,
And I bite the earth without anger.
I come from the forest, was once the meat of forests.
Now I’m hounded by my earthly lord,
Who lowers me into the field and rams me down,
Who pushes and sows seed as I pass.
I spit wet clods, I a wooden tool shaved to a point.
The genius of man has brought me to life
And now rolls me on a wheel.
Think of my strange mechanics: as I plod
One flank of my trail gathers green,
The other shiny black. Consider me my lord’s recruit,
His sword, his dagger, his bloodless claw.
What earth I slash falls in a curve
Of slaughter to one side.
If angled right, if pushed to my limits
I fill barrels, barns, and bellies. 

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