Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Afternoon October Road

I caught you on an afternoon October road
Past large white houses and large white barns
Set in sunset fields of drying heirloom corn
And autumn green pastures with short-cropped grass
Where proud draft teams rest from harvest
Past mum-lined porches and bonnet-dressed clothes lines
By gravel driveways where wooden wheels clatter
Behind lean brown horses minding their reigns

Soft cattails and red sumac swished in the ditches as I passed
Reminding me to watch the road, and not the oaks
Not the fresh tinted shades in the afternoon glow
Not the rising, beating arrow of geese
Sweeping my soul up into flight
Straight back to the garden gate
Back to the guarded gate

I drove grazing, grasping for the sweetness here
Spilling over, lingering behind you
The sent of your presence after you left
While the hero poets sang to me
To let me know they'd caught it too
They and I, we wait for you

I wanted to bring it home with me
Hoarding manna sun on autumn oaks
Home with chores, with stress, with vacancy
Home with biting, careless words
So I held my tongue and let it hurt

I didn't mind at all today
To drive again the same October road
To find the sun still lit the cattails
Still swishing reddened Sumac lining fields
And remember we're both on the wrong side here
Both pounding on the back side of the the gate
Both digging for the well, scraping bread from sand
And sometimes it doesn't hurt to let it hurt

I caught you on an afternoon October road
With the mum-lined porches and the poets
The scent of your presence, enough for today
Trickling rock, sandy wafer, a sigh in the ache
Just please come back soon and open the gate

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