Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Farmer's Wife

The Farmer's Wife

what was it like
to hold five babies in your belly,
and know them later as people

what was it like to wake with the chickens,
catching their eggs before they knew
they had laid them
without an alarm

just to wake
and know what has to be done
because no one else
will do it

what was it like

to fix a million meals
with colonial white bread,
butter and
jam jarred
on a wet summer night,
sweat and dead mosquitoes away, wondering
what it would be like

to sip champagne
in Paris.

what was it like to lose the man
you knew
as home
to cook his last meal
without realizing it was
his last

what was it like

to sway in a rocking chair that knew
the gentle curve of your hips, wood bending
for old age and apple pies consumed,
year after year

what was it like

dancing to the quiet music
of a broom
on hardwood floors,
swish, swish, swish
and dip
and the clock tick-tocking
and dip again
reminding the hours
there is still life
between the
and big hand

what was it like

to scrub every inch
of the farmhouse
over and over again for fifty years, memorizing,
like a poem or psalm
the cracks and ridges
that only you

what was it like to walk the rows,
where the corn grows
like a green green wall
and loneliness has no sound

what was it like when sleep wouldn’t come
because it was just too quiet
to sleep
what was it like

on your last day...
you said, ‘I have been blessed to know all of you,’
what was it like not to know
that it was we who were blessed,
even though
we never would know
what it was like
to be you.

- by Froggymama


The DutchMac Tribe said...

Absolutely stunning. Thank you for that little bit of beauty on a grey rainy day here.

Beverly said...

Oh my, this reminds me of my aunt who cooked every day for the farmhands who worked for her husband in the tobacco fields in north Florida.

Remembering her sweeping the wood floors and many other things.

That is beautiful writing, Froggymama. Give us more, please, in all your spare time. :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh,Froggymamma,you made me bawl. I don't do that very often. Grandma B. has been remembered well. Aunt B.

HisOwn said...

Wasn't the original title of this
"Ode to Aunt Jo"???
I'm sure this is about ME.
Quite beautiful, FM.
When you become famous, I'll still
be your aunt, fa

Mieke said...

Oh how I love love love you writing.

Anonymous said...

georgeous, love it. jcn

Anonymous said...

That poem just broke my heart, and all the memories of home rushed in. Thank you for your beautiful words, and for giving me tears that are wonderful to cry. Mom was a blessing we'll never lose.

Anonymous said...

SO SO SO beautiful, lyrical, and visual.
submit this to the new yorker!
(c mcc)