("I and the Village" by Marc Chagall, 1911.)
A farm worker, I make my rounds with every step upon the ancient soil,
which bears my weight and carries me, as it had my forbears before me,
steadfastly and silently.
The day is finally done, and my feet are sore, my shoulders weary.
But tonight my spirit is light, and I’ll remember with blessedness,
the labor of my kin and neighbors, milking cows and harvesting the field crops,
patiently and purposely, that we may all live and grow as one community.
Tonight I will sing a hymn, thankful for the industriousness of my people,
and with my guitar serenade the village, and the ricefield we plow but do not own,
as the countryside lays to rest under the evening sky,
guarded by its nipa huts, and solitary chapel.
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