The sun beat down like fire--
Beads of sweat rolled from his brow,
Still, the Old Man kept his pace
Behind his mule and ancient plow.

With an agonizing stride
He moved as if possessed,
With a hard and driving force
Never stopping once to rest.

Through this parched and ruthless wasteland
Of desert, rock and sand,
Tread this solitary figure
Tilling dusty, worthless land.

Transfixed, he watched him toil
From morning until dusk;
As he turned to leave, he asked himself
"Approach him?--Yes, I must!"

The closer that he came--
Careful not to make a sound,
He saw the Old Man smile at him
Then, crumple to the ground.

The strangest feeling swept across him
While he lay there in the sun,
As though he almost missed a deadline
Against time--and barely won.

It's been months since last he saw him--
The land is still and quiet now;
The only mark of his existence
Stands this old and rusting plow.

What pushed him ever onward?
Looking down, the only clue--
On the very spot he fell
A bright, but lonely flower grew.