My head would rest on the down-filled
Pillow in my boyhood bedroom
In the dusk stillness of the farmstead, out
of the frosted windows lived twilight tints
Flecked with shimmering milky glints.
Those solid-black ravens approach their Oak.
The comfortable click of the lock. Father.
An amber light spills underneath my doorway.
A gentle sneeze in a familiar hoarse voice brings
A smile to my face, and somehow a comfortable heat inside.
His muscled calves create heavy thuds until
Snug silence settles again.
Eleven hour days spent harvesting the towering bushels,
Father’s tough callused hands like dried leather
Grasping the long shaft of his spade.
The gentle sun through the clouds observing his broad
Back heaving in the field, listening to
The meaningless chatter of us youngsters.
Now. I lie stiff on the morbid cold sheets
Mind benumbed as if buried in the worn turf.
My unsoiled nails washing and wiping and scratching away
The saltwater forming furrows in my faded cheeks.
My stale unwashed skin like Father’s had been
Encased by clean cotton clothes.
In first light around 5 o’clock, Father would
shut the heavy wooden door behind him.
I await longer, for sleep to come
With the comfort I need gone.
His heavy boots fading in my memory –
We all return to the land in the end.
By Helen (DPI)