Thursday, December 3, 2009




She is right, this woman

I love, it has been a windy

Fall. And her blonde hair slips

Apart in long strands and with

One hand she combs it away from

Her face and she is smiling. For

Lunch she eats an apple and suns

Her legs, a summer skirt raised.

She is mother. A small boy is

Napping upstairs in the house.

When awake he will chase

Leaves that fall down from the

Sky, that’s how he sees it.

He calls me daddy because I am.

When I was off at work this

Morning up river laying stone

Along the road in the village

A blonde woman and her young son

Visited me. Hands cold gripping

Wet stone, boots chalked. This

Woman carried her little boy

In her arms, his green sweater

Was like the one my son wears

His mother knitted, ah the love

of mothers! and I gathered stone

By hand and thought of blue sky

Above, day clear as the river,

And why you must love what you do.



Oh yes, I've known welders
They're all by themselves

Their work smell is a strict greeting
From the Industrial Revolution

Years ago I knew a welder who worked
In town out of his one red garage

Doors always open wide, even in the rain
A fire of some kind burning

Victor in his helmet and torch in hand
Boots splattered, old pants------- cement floor

I've arrived to have one more truck bumper torn off
From the mud rides out of this valley brazened back on

He'll do what he can
------- backside of town
Near the river
------- some tall maple trees

Beautiful old homes going the way of no money any more
Look at all those slate roofs!

So many years later, Victor all gone, red garage is still there
And I'm visiting all over again the same location because

Our son has just moved into a rental in
The old house where maybe Victor lived

To my mind Victor just lived in the garage
------- What's a house?
I mention how I've been here before to our son who has no

Idea really what I'm talking about except it's on
The way to just one more of his father's stories. . .

for Gerry Loose

photos © bob arnold
"Lucky" from Once In Vermont (Gnomon, 1999)