Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Day for Memories

by Ted Kooser*

Spinning up dust and cornshucks
as it crossed the chalky, exhausted fields,
it sucked up into its heart
hot work, cold work, lunch buckets,
good horses, bad horses, their names
and the names of mules that were
better or worse than the horses,
then rattled the dented tin sides
of the threshing machine, shook
the manure spreader, cranked
the tractor's crank that broke
the uncle's arm, then swpt on
through the windbreak, taking
the treehouse and dirty magazines,
turning its fury on the barn
where cows kicked over buckets
and the gray cat sat for a squirt
of thick milk in its whiskers, crossed
the chicken pen, undid the hook,
plucked a warm brown egg
from the meanest hen, then turned
toward the house, where threshers
were having dinner, peeled back
the roof and the kitchen ceiling,
reached down and snatched up
uncles and cousins, grandma, grandpa,
parents and children one by one,
held them like dolls, looked
long and longingly into their faces,
then set them back in their chairs
with blue and white platters of chicken
and ham and mashed potatoes
still steaming before them, with
boats of gravy and bowls of peas
and three kinds of pie, and suddenly,
with a sound like a sigh, drew up
its crowded, roaring, dusty funnel,
and there at its tip was the nib of a pen.

*Ted Kooser, Poet Laureate of the United States, received the Pulitzer Prize for Delights & Shadows, the book from which this poem was taken.

Kaitlyn's memory-making visit to the farm this past July. :-)
This day, October 16, is a day of remembering and reminiscing. Our lives, after all, span a very short period of time - and yet are filled with so very much. May we each leave a little behind us, written and/or unwritten, that makes a difference. In honor and remembrance of my sister, Barb. With Love.


GardenAuthor said...

Amazing verse, touching tribute and "spot-on" final statement. Thinking of and your family on this day./Deb

Gail said...


What a powerful poem he has written! Thank you for sharing it with us. I am glad you will surrounded with your family; you can lean on one another as you celebrate your dear sister's life. ... Please know that I am thinking about you and sending thoughts of healing and love into the universe for you all.


Shady Gardener said...

Deb and Gail, Thank you so much. We really did have a good day, today. There's much to be thankful for, and we can always use reminders to be loving, careful, nurturing, etc., with the people around us.

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I enjoy being outdoors! I also love that I've two children (now grown up with families of their own)and six young grandchildren! :-) Sure would like to see them more often!!