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.

[b]Fish Perfume[/b]

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])

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