Home with fever
your nephew is restless.
I paint away the day
stop only to bake dog biscuits,
fresh salmon for dinner.
Unlike the others,
the change from peanut butter
to bouillon and garlic.
Given where he's been,
he's easy to please.
Tomorrow I'll plant fairy wand,
needlegrass and fescue.
Come fall I will watch them
dance to the weather.
I love the wind,
how she moves things around.
Back Forty Mistress
An autumn bride but no newlywed,
she soothes his brow
with hand-hemmed linen,
cabbage leaves she's iced and saved
for under his hat on summer days.
And she sings
sings him through the dusty rows,
unlaces his boots and draws his bath,
sends him off fresh for Ceres to admire
until crops come in
and with hands grown cold
she stokes a fire, blows warm kisses
across the furrows, frost-gray stubble.
She gives his history objectively
enough to impress the clinically bent
with gleaned ability to impart facts
scales and scores that, even considering
standard deviation, sink below acceptable.
They lower their heads and speak
referral, never touch
what she knew early
that numbers used to label men
can never measure fear,
project the day she'll be too slow
to break his fall, too old to tie his shoes.