Like Memory

Wishing and Waiting

Another new poem. Hmmm. Has my muse decided to get off her chaise lounge? She must be fat and lazy after 13 years lolling about in her silk negligee, smoking her Gauloises cigarettes, and drinking all the good Champagne bottles down there in the cellar (see Stephen King’s thoughts on muses and their living arrangements in basements), but I dare not diss her. I wouldn’t want her to get angry at me and go back to bed for another decade.

LIKE MEMORY

Where are the heirs of the dignified farmers
of old; dirt and seed
pressed into the corrugated, molded soles
of steel-toed boots, earth beneath
fingernails, and round yellow callouses
on the palm of hands familiar
with the hoe and the rake and the gears
of heavy equipment out in the barn?

Where are the daughters of farmers wives,
jam bubbling and popping on the stove,
while a cheesecloth drips whey
into a bowl, dull tin biscuit cutter
with the ruffled edge pressed down
into the resilient dough on the board,
and the push of cold, soaked clothes
through wringer washing machines in the kitchen?

Have they passed now
into a forgotten time, never to return and leaving
behind dry, empty husks
like corn stalks shaking in an autumn wind?
Like chaff scattered and crushed
beneath a rough heel?

Or are the farmer and farmer’s wife sunk deep
into the skin? Hiding in the bones
and muscle, the very living cells, the twisted
ladder of DNA, coursing somehow in the veins,
vessels, holding onto knowledge
until a time when need ignites
some inherited, instinctual knowledge
of soil and seed and whey and sugar
boiled to sweet, viscous jam,
red and vital like blood,
like memory?

3 responses to “Like Memory

  1. Wow! love this poem. I can see so clearly in my mind the images you portrayed. You are so good at what you do.

  2. You should look for somewhere to publish this! With Poetry month coming up- I bet there will be lots of opportunities! Have always been awed by your poetic Muse.

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