Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Cares That Infest the Day
By Arthur D. Rees
From “Volunteers”
Frank Maine, Maine

TWO months ago I left railroading,
And from that hour—leisure and peace!
Yesterday I came here from New York,
On a tour to the West,
But I listened to the tap of a drum, and enlisted.        5
My coming here was only a step
In my usual path, in drifting westward
To the wheat fields for the harvest.
I follow the growth of the grasses:
First to Texas where the wheat ripens early;        10
Then with the prairie people
And the southern harvesters
From field to field I go
Northward up the Missouri and Red rivers
Until I reach the wheat bonanzas of the Dakotas;        15
And then northward still,
Beyond the “blue stems” of Minnesota
And up to Manitoba
Where the harvesting ends, for the wheat
Can not grow when Winter shrivels the grass.        20
Then southward I would turn
To the orange groves and fruit fields
Of California, drifting perhaps to Mexico
And the oil fields for the winter;
And after that, begin the round again,        25
And wander to Texas for spring ploughing;
And later northward once more,
With summer returning for its harvest.
It’s a good life, but beyond me now.

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