I am pleased to have Arthur sit
on my lawn for the Old Home Day parade.
He and Millie were good friends to my parents.
I know he and Peter feel quite alone
now that she is gone.
I know it has been a difficult year for Peter,
what with the surgery on his hips and the brief
failed marriage, but they have the church people
to help and they know everyone.
Arthur is one of the last people to have cows in town.
I love to see the tin roof on his barn reflect
the sunset off the mountain.
Jenny did a good job too.
She got two pictures of Peter driving the tractor.
One close up where he looks strong and wiry,
not at all sickly or limited, and one where
he waves, and his hand is the hand of a leader,
announcing the ripe corn and haystacks
on the flatbed truck float.
The tractor itself looks magnificent. Funny
I didn’t notice it in the parade. The flag waving
in front of the high grill, the majestic wheels.
It’s been months now since August.
I could just mail the pictures up,
but I think I’ll wait and take them by at Christmas,
bring my mother and the children.
It’s right on the way to the good Christmas tree fields.
I’d be nice to see the animals in the snow.
trout new out of the water smell
power and cold and heavy moss dark
I have put two drops from the bottle
behind my ears, white shoulders, quiet
true my hands trailing the nets gravid
with dying and dulling eye stare
I want this boy to remember me in
dusklight when we row our fathers’
boat home pale before the rising moon
[b]The Sweetest Water in the World[/b]
came from a pump to a wooden trough
and a simple dipper just below the fire
tower on Belknap Mountain. It was a hike
the kids could make with dads after dinner
on a summer’s evening, a rush up the red
trail and those who needed, or cared, to go
slow could take the kinder gentler meandering
green. Everyone ran down the red. By spring
it was a rock river fed by that same sweet
well, that same snow deep locked in rock
and root and thick rich moss kept safe to cool
our child hot necks and cheeks before
the last climb, the knock on the floor
of the watcher’s keep–glass lifted still higher
than the mountain rock’s wind cleared view.
by Kelley White
([email]kelleywhitemd [at] yahoo [dot] com[/email])