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A gentle agony, Not really painful; It does not tear, But nibbles and complains, Like a child too tired to eat. I am not frightened or confused. I know what it is; Know I can suppress and survive it. But I should be impatient, Pushing winter on its way, Wanting the brown earth to crawl out And awaken from its white sleep. I should be looking for tender Green grass on south slopes, Worrying about late storms, Men, tractors, wind, Wet calves, scours, And getting heavy ewes in at dark. I have no worries, Only an annoying tension growing Stronger as spring approaches. It is nearly planting time, And I am in the city. Reprinted from `Cowboy Poetry: A Gathering' (Peregrine Smith Books, 1985), used by permission of the author.

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