Friday’s Poem: Recall

This is a place where

the chickens gave them aid

the cows quenched thirst,

the pigs sacrificed lives,

and shy rabbits proliferated

until the wild dogs came.

This is where she rode

the rope from hayloft to dirt

and a horse named Nance

kicked and felled her as she turned her back.

Her hand went to the pain daily,

failing to erase the memory

the years after she left the farm.

It is where they all endured her father’s wrath

after their farm was taken,

where she scrubbed clothes for fifteen

on the wash board until her knuckles bled,

where she swapped tales with her mother

who had a heart that was tough until it opened.

But every night I hear other stories–

of the golden wheat swaying,

and the cats leaping over hay bales

like furry dancers,

and laughter around the scarred table

and a dawn sky gleaming, watching like God

observing, even blessing it all.

You make me gasp and giggle

and when your hands tuck me in,

I adore again their strength and virtuosity

despite how worn and rough beneath the

Jergen’s lotion that scents my coverlet,

the Evening in Paris you spritz on

your brocade gown before

running downstairs to meet father

for the opera and afterparty.

How all this carries me

toward a future of blossoms and fire,

storms and mountains,

grief and redemption is not a mystery.

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