15 years later I returned
to visit buildings I played around when I was a kid:
to walk by survivors of our colonial past
corn crib, pig sty, empty garages, and a barn built long ago,
ground floors diffused with the dung and dust of 200 years,
some still hoary-marked with faded rosettes
of white, green, dapple red, and sometimes pale blue.
As sheep owners we had enough lambs, one for each of the six of us.
On occasion we'd bridle them to posts like natural lawnmowers,
and we would take turns, the six of us, every thirty minutes checking on them:
except the time my brother forgot and was it irony that strangled his sheep to death?
Sheep's body lifeless and limp
it's eyes bulging and black
in the middle of field on a hot summer's day.
Flaked wood so bare the paint covered like a transparency
and the corn crib's simple rectangular skeleton
laid bare in old grey slats standing against time,
and for evenings reposes with its long lean shadow,
its body ripped
now choking on an overgrowth of the thorn bushes and weeds.
My mind recalls sweat sticky evenings, bur bruised and thorn stabbed,
rough-housing only interrupted by the sound of metal against metal,
mother calling us to dinner,
banging heavy on a great iron triangle.
This dinner part made by an acre now come full
of cucumber, peas, green beans, corn,
and so many that the mind loses count.