by Notty Bumbo, 2015
Out behind the red barn,
The fields raw and shattered,
Rip-rap and stubble,
Work behind the plow
Done for now.
Time to tune the tractor,
Sharpen the blades,
Clean the tools.
Wander the south quarter,
Hauling the leftovers.
So many tasks to complete
Before the snows come.
Like remembering you,
Your last days in the side garden,
A bushel of peas,
The last of the pole beans,
Your delight with the remaining gourds.
I could never get tired
Of the smile these green things
Brought to your face,
The hard work of canning
A source of such bliss.
How you brought me lunch under the willow,
The days hot and full of wonder,
The old black cat twitching
Under the porch overhang,
Daring the dog to bother her,
Her soft hiss the only warning.
Those years seem endless, now,
Nearly as long as your absence.
The side garden neglected,
Tools gone to rust.
I'm not even sure if the tractor will start,
I sit beneath that old willow,
The cat and dog have long since departed,
My sense of wonder has wandered off,
The fields fallow all summer long.
What crop is worth growing
Where there's no one to smile at the green?
I keep meaning to give your faded red apron
To our granddaughter.
But I don't think anyone's ever bothered
To teach her the art of fresh-picked food,
Of taking delight in a simple basket of carrots.
With knowing the endless contentment
Of being alive on this fertile Earth.
@ellopoetry @poetry @ellowrites