Sovereign Joy

By Rodney Jones

audioear pictureHear the author read this poem (in RealAudio)

On the John Deere he felt inaugurated,
freshly minted, risen to eminence.
He could hit the left foot brake, square-
pirouette at the floodgate, and follow
the creekbank back to the barn. He knew
where liveth and when goeth and how
lift harrow and turn governor down.
He had studied paradise—this came close,
making a vow always to live right
and perfect corners he'd cheat by littles
until he went in an oval, round
and round, not seeing everything, but happy,
breaking ground, a farm boy with the Beatles
in his head, a young Baptist dancing.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2005/08/sovereign-joy/304130/