Mary Harwell Sayler

If you saw the woman I saw in Alabama,

you might call her house a shack, not

knowing the number and size of rooms

has turned her home into an unpainted

palace with a front porch overlooking

a field where she plants one row after

another with no old mule to assist her.

She has only herself to count on, row

after row, guiding a V-shaped plow in

front of her like a big metal breastbone.

Row after row, she upturns the moist

earth, wearing a black leather strap

slack around her neck to keep herself

in line after line, looking perfectly regal.

Mary Harwell Sayler began writing poems as a child but, as an adult, wrote almost everything except poetry. Her publishing credits of 25 books include novels, children’s books, a devotional series, and two life-health encyclopedias. She’s also had a couple hundred poems now see print. Since 1983, she’s worked with other poets and writers, first through home-study courses, then critiques and her highly ecumenical website Each year she judges poetry and all genres for children entered in the international writing contests sponsored by .

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