Push Mower

A bright summer day,
I walk behind
the familiar roar
which turns

the dangerous blade,
which cuts its straight swirl
through row upon row
of inoffensive blades.

If I gaze at the green grass,
mesmerized by progress,
it could be any sunny day
of any year since my twelfth.

Grandfather James sits
under a shade tree,
observes traffic on the road,
monitors my progress.

Vincent tastes
cool well water, then returns
the porcelain cup
to its nail.

David hikes
into the east woods,
rifle at the ready
for rabbits in the underbrush.

Eternally unchanged,
they act out their lives
from the corner
of my eye

as I march forward
set on my task
of mowing down
what lies ahead.

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Refresh

Dusk drinks down
October rain,
autumn color,
the road ahead

which shortens
to a halogen halo
seen through the slap
of windshield wipers.

Follow the staccato pulse
of the yellow center line.
Tunnel through night.
Reach home

to snug beneath a blanket
and dream daylight
until it pours the world
back around the house

as if we never traveled in darkness,
as if nothing were ever lost.
===

For @dVersePoets Open Link Night.

Driving it Home

Alone, driving down a country road
close to what was home, I hear my mother’s voice.
I see her hand point to each farmhouse and lane.

She tells me who lived where when she was a girl.
But all I hear are general tones,
because the words have gone.

Farm fields stretch on like urban blight inner city blocks
strained to their breaking. Two miles to the next corner.
Right, then five miles more. Turn upon turn of absence.
The bleached white bones of loss lie scattered, unclaimed.

The car rattles up its lane to the familiar cedar shingled frame.
Park inside the old shed, it’s soul wrapped in metal.
Dad drove every nail. The barn, the shop
all in dust and disarray of the last days
which lasted for years.

I walk in the house, set the keys on the table.
No need to say I’m home for the ghosts all know,
glide around in whispers.

Open the fridge, pour a glass of milk.
Ten leftover containers seethe with curdled discontent.
Shut the door.

Sit for hours
and watch the faces on the walls
drift back deeper.

Wonders of the Web

A cache of 1940 photographs
taken of my county,
aerial photos.

[Download]

my range, township, section,
and see the farm from above.

Woods have slowly encroached
on the fields since then.
A pasture ran from the barn
down to the creek in the grove,

crops and trees
now divide
the former bovine demesne.

[Zoom]

on a dot in the yard
to the shock
of a boy waving,
looking up
at the airplane
high above.

I look down,
wave back,
waver between
decades,
for a moment forget
my absence then
his absence now.

Father.

Accordion


.
It was wooden with a worn, red finish, the bellows bright blue. There were no ivory keys, just shining brass buttons. The sound  carried a hundred thousand yesterdays in two minute installments. Carnival bright one moment, hauntingly sad the next. Standards from a hundred years before.

I remember a night when I looked into the framed blackness of the window while I listened. And I knew the music would end.

The accordion player told me a dream where his long-dead childhood sweetheart waved a handkerchief to him from a second story window, then another dream where he walked into church, down the center aisle, and sat next to his father. I was Joseph and he was Pharaoh, but Pharaoh already knew. He was 95 and I was 24.

My loss is no different from your loss. Bridges disappear and there is only the river, with currents and eddies too wild for one to swim and ever return.

At dusk, sometimes, wisps of music carry from the other side.

===

.

Here is some of his music. You may no doubt find it Myron Floren kitsch, but for me it is tinged with fond memories.  I don’t know the name of the first one anymore, and am hoping someone might recognize it.

Amos Music 1

And I’ve just discovered Tumblr only allows one audio upload a day. Grrr. More to come.