Monday, May 30, 2016


Farmer's Wife

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.


Bob Arnold
Where Rivers Meet
Mad River Press