Four dozen eggs under her arm,
That’s how she greeted us.
We weren’t coming for eggs
But for a currant bush
Waiting in the dooryard
Wrapped tight in burlap.
I lifted it into the back
Of the truck since that’s
What I was hired to do,
Waited in the early sun
Leaning against the tailgate
While the two old ladies talked.
And with the eggs still under
Her arm she also turned to speak
With me, eyes dazzled like light
In water, checkered blue flannel
Shirt, out-worn by all of her
Sons and now on her back; torn
At the elbows, but warm.
Everything is just right
On this hill farm and I’ve only
Been here 5 minutes. Crows flap
West to east from the wood’s edge
Long over the flat face of pasture.
A manure spreader is backed up
To the kitchen door stacked neat
With stovewood, the lawn is mowed,
And we’ve caught this farmer’s wife
In between the chicken coop and
The house; white hair combed back
With ruddy hands that pick eggs
Each morning, and when she talks
She mentions all of her family.
Where Rivers Meet
Mad River Press