Where to Begin, And When to Harvest

In Memoriam: Robert Smith

I see you in an old photo
Young and gangling in overalls
Standing in a field, hands on hips,
Considering where to begin
The planting and when to harvest.

I see you in an oil lamp’s glow
Considering all the angles
On a crokinole board where you
Held the same distinctions between
Black and white as you did elsewhere.

I remember you on the shore
Forking trailerloads of seaweed
To bank the house against the winds
Winter sent to nullify wood
You cut to stovelengths stacked in cords.

I see you after the farm truck
Ahead of you on the highway
Flung broken steel through your windshield
And through your eye. I see you smile
On the porch gazing at the strait.

You grew old on the land you worked.
Much of it lay fallow later,
But the truck didn’t take away
Your foresight. So tall windmills turn
On your land, harvest laden winds.

About John MacKenzie

I'll mumble for ya. Poetry, plus most things quantifiable: science, neuroscience, memory, epistemology, baseball. And so on.
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