Monday, November 4, 2019

YOKEL ( 4 ) ~


The time we worked in the woods

Cutting trees in the old sugar stand

Opening back up to the light and the

World some of the largest maples we

Had ever seen, Sweetheart called the

Job our Fitzcarraldo, after the Herzog

Film, when they cut a wide swath over

The mountain in a jungle to pull the

Ship over to reach another waterway —

But we were after no waterway

Just cutting tree after tree and

Brush and piling it all but still

Like the movie Sweetheart

Said she had the same opera

Music playing in her head

for Susan


If you don’t think a name

Or job description means

Anything let me tell you about

Preacher’s place when the high

Winds of summer went through one

Year and shook his woodland hills

Where at the base was built some

Time ago a prefab log cabin by the

Date I liked to look at on the stone

Chimney and though the cabin wasn’t

Much and Preacher came from out of

State to visit he must have lived here

Long enough for a guardian angel

To watch over his place because he 

Hired me after one of those storms

And said I might want to bring Native

And his tractor along and when we

Got there, sure enough, tall white

Pines had flopped down in the winds

As if placed by a higher being

And not a scratch to any of the

Four sides of the dinky cabin 

With its many windows vista

But it was something to see

The building boxed in by trees

That took most of the day to cut


Curious-lady always used to think every

Man in the village was a peeping-tom

Until she decided, in fact, who was her

Peeping-tom. Since Curious-lady lived

With her mother and was attractive with

A pink ribbon often trailed off in her

Chestnut hair we liked visiting with 

Her while tolerating these lame brain

Stories of nocturnal visitors she got-a-

Good-look-at-this-time. More often than

Not she would stop in the middle of a

Conversation and ask us pinpointedly

Just who was that woman or man we

Were with the last time she saw us and

When satisfied would nod her head and

You could almost see her gears turning.

Months even years later Curious-lady would

Remind us about our friends as if waiting

To hear a little more, needling some secret.

The peeping-tom in the village was a little

Guy who had a lowly government job in town.

His wife was nuts and kept a human scale

Baby doll in a glass top coffee table in their

House and a life-size doll in colonial dress

Out by the old stone water well. It’s too much

To think about. Though Curious-lady when got 

Going liked to talk about how peeping-tom 

Dressed the doll and other cruel innuendo. 

This is somewhat of a clue how folks made

It through these long dark winters.

Rule of Thumb

don’t stay

long in




out a





Bob Arnold