How did it get so late so soon?
All day the clunk of a baler
So taken for granted
It was evening before I came to
To what I was hearing
And missing: summer’s richest hours
As they had been to begin with,
And nearly rewarded enough
By the giddied-up race of a tractor
At the end of the day
Last-lapping a hayfield.
But what I also remembered
As woodpigeons sued at the edge
Of thirty gleaned acres
And I stood inhaling the cool
In a dusk eldorado
Of mighty cylindrical bales
Was Derek Hill’s saying,
The last time he sat at our table,
He could bear no longer to watch
The sun going down
And asking please to be put
With his back to the window.
One of his last poems. Here is a video of him reading it.