The Birthday Present

    “The Birthday Present,” New Era, Aug. 1983, 20

    The Birthday Present

    This new tractor was large and sturdy

    but most of all it was red.

    Things moved quicker painted red,

    like fire engines, and there had been

    two red candles on that cake

    that had disappeared so fast.

    Red. Big people spoke to him

    but the tractor spoke louder,

    of cold tile floors in need of plowing.

    The wheels turned smoothly as the blades

    dug up acres under the kitchen table

    so he ignored the ache in his knees.

    He wiped his forehead.

    It would be a fine harvest!

    He kept his eyes on the end of the row

    while the wheels turned smoothly,

    the engine hummed softly

    and said red, red.