Tractor [15 Words or Less Poems]

Hello, and welcome! This is 15 Words or Less Poems, a low-pressure way to wake up your poetry brain (guidelines here), and I’m very glad you’re here.

tractor 15wol
Photo: Laura P. Salas

I took this picture outside Dairy Queen after my event at Plainview Public Library recently. I always love heading outstate and seeing what’s different between living there and living in “The Cities.”

This image makes me think of:

  1. a Mars Rover
  2. Big Wheels (do they still make those?)
  3. a nervous racer, waiting for the starting gun

And here’s my first draft.  I am not very happy with it this week. Everything came out whiny sounding. Not clever or pithy. Just complaining. But I feel distracted–I have so many things I need to work on, and my mom is in the hospital, and I am just celebrating that I DID my 15 Words or Less poem. Sure, it might stink. But it’s the process, as I always tell kids. Write a LOT. A lot of it will be junk, but jewels will emerge at times. I have to remind myself that that is still true every day for me, too. So, sharing the junk, too. [Added later: My mom passed away yesterday. Thank you so much for all your wishes and prayers this year–and, for you longtime blog readers, over the past many years–as she fought through various health issues. Your concern and love has truly been a source of comfort to me, and to my mom. I often told her of my friends who were rooting for her and praying for her.]

mars rovers 15wol poem 

Blanket statement for July/August. Hope you’re having a wonderful summer. I am, but it’s crazy busy! ILA, moving, daughter getting married, other daughter home from Scotland for a month, plus 7 or 8 writing/revision deadlines! When you Comment, I get an email, and I will be doing my best to read every poem you guys write. But my availability over the summer to comment on each poem will be limited. I hope you’ll write because you love it and enjoy this community. Please know I value your participation, even if I am not able to respond much this July and August.

It’s your turn! Have fun and stick to 15 WORDS OR LESS! (Title doesn’t count toward word count)

27 Responses

  1. Laura I hope your mom will be okay I will keep her and you in my prays

    I can’t help to notices how the sky looks in your pic

    also the cut little face on the blue tractor
    poem By Jessica Bigi

    blinking eyes
    rusty smile
    rumbling tummy
    moor hay pleas

    1. I had to go back and look at the sky, and I had missed the tractor’s adorable little face. Love you last line.

    2. From knoing the difaculties and pain of losing pairtents my prays arer with you and your famly at this time give your salfplentaly of time to greave in the ways you fell like and hope you fined confret from clood frends and famly XXX take care we all love and care about you 🙁 take time froe you

  2. So sorry to hear of your mother’s location. Not what you need to add to your stress, and not where she wants to be, either, I’m sure. I would understand perfectly if you took a pass on some of your extras. I will be praying for you all.

    This picture reminded me of an elderly farmer neighbor who wants to be able to do as he once did.


    Want to be useful.
    Just want to work.
    Don’t park me forever,
    I’ll go berserk.

    1. This reminded me of a poem I wrote from the point of view of a lobster boat abandoned in someone’s side yard. It seems so sad when they are no longer used and set aside. I think they just may be going a little “berserk”!

  3. Laura, so sorry to hear about your mom’s hospitalization. Thanks for thinking of us with your continuation of Thursday’s 15 WOL. I think you’ll like your draft better the more you read it. Sending positive thoughts ease your stress load.,

    The Blues

    Blue eyes
    blue skies
    blueberry pies;
    blue hues
    for shoes
    and purses too.

    Blue tractors???

  4. I am very sorry to hear about your Mom, Laura. I am praying for comfort for you and your family.

    I like the POV for your rover poem. Here’s mine:

    Blue skies above.
    Green grass below.
    Hook up a shredder -
    I’m ready to mow!

  5. Laura, please take care. I lost my dad several years ago and there’s nothing like it. Doesn’t even seem real. I’ll say some prayers for you and your family.


    Old Blue
    used to moo
    with the cows—
    eat hay, too.

    —Kate Coombs

  6. Free Rides

    County fair
    tractor display -
    Turn the wheel
    as you play -
    Riding here
    I don’t pay!

    This picture reminds me of the days when my son was young and we’d take him to county fairs. There were tractors on display there, and we’d let him climb on them and pretend to drive. He could have spent hours there if we let him, and it was all free riding (though no moving was going on except those little arms and legs!)

  7. I saw rain in your sky and it reminded me of one very wet spring in North Carolina. The fields were too wet for the tractors to go in and start the planting and every farmer was counting the days of rain. It got to 45, and everyone was worried there wouldn’t be enough time for crops to have a growing season.


    for the rains
    to clear
    tractor tires
    tear up the fields
    can’t complain–
    needy crops

    1. Maine potato farmers always have this problem. Our growing season is so short, that if the mud season doesn’t end soon enough, it’s hard to get out onto the fields in time for good crops.

  8. This morning’s newspaper ran a picture of kudzu hiding a red antique tractor. Your picture today was a happy coincidence.

    No Hiding

    Kudzu creeping
    Green in hue
    You can’t hide
    ‘Cause you’re all blue

  9. Thinking of you and your family, Laura. My mom has been gone for more than three years, and I still have the desire to pick up the phone and call her often.…but since that time my memories of her illness have faded and been replaced with memories of the warm and strong woman I knew for most of my life. I hope your memories of your mom will bring you peace.

    Who Am I?

    Clover tickles my tires.
    Barley swipes my sides.
    Steaming, pulling, hauling…
    Lazy Farmer rides.

  10. Laura, I was away for the morning and just tuned in to learn that your mother had passed away. Please accept my sincere sympathy, extended to your entire family. It seems that when you are stressed with so any different things at one time, life has a way of expanding your ability to cope with yet another event. Connectivity (if that’s a word) comes to mind upon the death one’s mother, or that mother’s child. Even though the physical umbilical cord is severed at birth, that connection remains in some form throughout life for mother and or child. At death that connection is no longer, no matter who leaves first. My mother passed at age 83; her mother was still alive at 103. That loss affected my grandmother in ways not easily understood and she passed 5 months later. May the sadness and grief you now feel soon be replaced with warm, loving memories. I’m happy to be a part of this community.

  11. I’m sorry, Laura. My father-in-law died yesterday so you’d think I would be able to come up with something useful to say, but I am dumbstruck. Hugs to you.

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