Today would be my Great Uncle Amos’ 115th birthday. I grew up on his farm. This is one of the first poems I wrote I was remotely happy with when looking back at it a month or two later (in 1986).
for Uncle Amos (1895-1990)
When the old man checks the clover growing in the wheat
or tills the garden behind the trailer with his 1950 vintage
he always takes along a faded blue broom handle
to ward off elephant stampedes.
(at least that’s what he tells me)
And it seems to work, as I never hear mention
of the need to smack a charging pachyderm
square between the eyes, like he says it must be done.
aaa“Down they’ll fall,” he says,
and I believe him.