Monday, November 18, 2019

YOKEL ( 6 ) ~


I have worked on rich people’s gardens —

Old well-restored barns filled with all

Sorts of machinery and tools and even

Finer tools bought from the very best

Mail order catalogs and more times

Than not a hoe or trowel or shovel is

Left out in the rain, long watering hoses

Knotted up, vegetable seed packets strewn

And the overall place in an uproar of chaos

Because it is hard work to live a life of luxury

Between the city and the country unless you

Have lots of help, but Native has no help ex-

Cept for his wife, the little grandkid and one

Of his boys if he is visiting up there on the

Knoll, under the sugar maples, in what

Was once tarpapered and since Native is

A jack-of-all-trades he’s covered the walls

With plank siding and sits in the late

Afternoon on a crappy chair with a beer and

The radio on low, the fawning grandkid

Close by and something for you to sit on if

You like and wish to stay awhile amongst the

Plush flowers and little stonework path that

Leads from the kitchen to Native’s garden


Native’s wife drove a big bomb of a car —

Chevy, Buick, Plymouth or something?

It was long before four-wheel drive or

Front-wheel drive and everything counted

On the driver. But she never missed a

Day’s work and I can’t ever really

Remember her car ever being stuck.

And that’s when these roads were

Far worse, pre-newcomers —

Slick cold ice road mornings,

Bad old deep mud draw —

She got through.

She Talks

Standing in a

Chain saw repair

Shop waiting for a

New chain to be

Fitted onto her

Homelite, most of

Us standing close

To the woodstove,

Gloves icy, she

Said how today

Oodles of geese

Flew over her farm


That’s the best

way to see bright

red snazzy high

heeled shoes —

Native caught

in her dooryard

for a moment

and she had

just thrown

them on

Bob Arnold