Mar. 31st, 2013 03:24 pm
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[personal profile] hafoc
Mucking out the barn in the cold
Back aching, but done, finally,
He walked across the muddy barnyard
In the lowering sun,
Habit, really,
The watering trough wouldn't freeze today.

In the edge of the melting snowbank
Beneath and behind the trough
A flash of pale blue.
He picked it up,
A mitten, muddy,
A hole worn in the thumb,
A small mitten.
He held it for a long time,
Just looking at it.

Beneath the mud the ground was still frozen
So he got the pick, went to the garden
Here, in the row where Edith grew her flowers
Daisies, zinnias,
The marigolds that would be bright
As the sun he longed for,
Bobbing in the breeze of summer
That would come, that had to come

He used the pick to make a hole
Then laid the mitten safe in the ground,
Covered it over, kneeling in the mud
Looking down at the little mound
Of earth, mud, and snow.

The sun had set.
Back to the house, then, hurrying,
He scraped off what mud he could,
Went in, lit the lamp.

"Fred? Where are you? Fred!"
Trembling, he took the lamp
And hurried in to her.

She was sitting up in bed,
Pale and weak, but eyes clear.
"I'm here," he said. "I will always be here."
"Oh, look at the mud on your clothes! You're a fright."
"I'll take care of it," he said.
"It's March, nearly April."
Her eyes blanked for a moment, and then cleared.
"Are you all right?" she asked.
He bent over and hugged her.
"Yes, I'm fine," he said,
Hugging her tighter, yet gently.
"Everything's all right."
Squeezing his eyes closed, tight.

January 2015

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