kragore: (Default)
The Old Man looks up in surprise
bent nearly in half, his body a constant knot of pain
the morning sun dull in his weary, sorrowful eyes
"They're all gone, S....
We've got more cats than cows now.
I never thought I'd see the day..."
He trails off, looking down the aisle,
through the years
lost in the memories of hundreds of cattle
and millions of gallons of milk
collected over more than a half century

His wife, spent,
filled with equal parts mourning and relief
leans heavy on the pitchfork
her boots caked, her back stooped.
"Hopefully those boys will call soon."
she says with a sigh
"It's a job for the young."
emotion making her voice bright
She gently leans the fork in it's accustomed place
She must go home to rest.

The barn swallows continue their ballet
The cleaning machine clatters out a death rattle
The barn sighs
hollow and empty in the constant, constant breeze

We shovel and scrape and clean for hours.
Not for pay
Not for pleasure
But out of respect for the Old Man and his wife
We do homage at an alter
to a way of life
a time before our own

We leave
unspoken, one more thing to be done
it's off to town and back again,
a 5 minute ride
quietly, with a wan smile that family born of common struggle shares
She hands the Old Man a sack and a cup
we hear him chuckle as we turn to leave

"Jelly, my favorite."

The Painter

Nov. 8th, 2010 11:17 am
kragore: (Default)
She came to my window last night
fingers running lightly over glass
"Come see the art I'm making!"

She came to my window last night
fingers insistently tapping
"Rise and see!"

But I could not be bothered
to stir from my bed
could not be bothered
to raise my head
So she said lightly
and I did.

Flakes fat as fists
lightly falling, tumbling, exploding
a whipped cream coverlet
gilded gold in the street light

She smiled,
I slept.
kragore: (Default)
I Do What I Can

My wife says our children need help
being conceived, being born,
and I'm there for them, there for her.
My pleasure! I tell her.

But now that they're in the world,
our children need rides
to Tee Ball practice,
preschool, karate lessons.

They need rides but the driver
in front of me has needs too.
His car has died and he needs someone
to push. My pleasure, I tell him.

But now three people carrying a casket
need a fourth to help them. So I've become
a shoulder in a funeral procession.
But I've misunderstood. They don't need

someone to help carry the casket, they need
someone to crawl into the box and be
the dead body. My pleasure, I tell them.
So now I'm wearing this ridiculous

makeup, and the minister is talking
dust to dust, and they're parading by me,
all these women who used to be beautiful
wearing black hats, veils, and tears.

"I Do What I Can" by Tom C. Hunley, from Octopus. © Logan House, 2008.


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