Thursday, April 8, 2010

Poem for Today: A Mystery

We got home late from today's trip. Much to tell that will have to wait for tomorrow. I am posting a poem I wrote last Fall because there is no time to write a new one tonight, not with these blurry eyes.

A Mystery

It was a week before we found the head.

It had rolled into the dark space

Under the hay bales

Where mouse droppings and

Haydust combine to create

A smell like no other, a smell

Found only in sagging barns

With roofs that are still intact

But foundations that have shifted

To settle more comfortably under the load.

We noticed the new smell first.

That was how we realized the head

Had gone missing.

How had we not noticed?

We were busy, true,

With so much work

To finish before cold weather.

Still, a thing like that.

Someone should have said,

Hey, where did it go?

But no one did and we went on with our work

Of putting the garden to bed,

Getting the fences tight and snug

In case of falling trees

And making sure the feed bins were secure

Against marauding coons and possums.

The smell was like a garbage dump in midsummer

Heat, the methane rising in rivulets of rotting

Vegetation from bagged grass clippings,

Barbecue leftovers and potato peelings.

But this was not the garbage dump

And it was not midsummer.

It was October and the first frost threatened.

We followed our noses

Trusting that faithful organ

To lead us to the offending source.

We found it. Under the hay

In a dark cavern created by unevenly

Stacked bales of summer

It rested in slimy gory glory--

The lost cabbage head.

3 comments:

Country Whispers said...

Liiked the poem. It kept me wondering clear to the end just what it was.
Blurry eyes don't sound good.
Hope it's nothing too terrible.

Granny Sue said...

No, just tired, Jessica. we were up at 5am to get on the road by 6, and didn't get home until after 9. So I was s-l-e-e-p-y!

Janet, said...

I remember you reading this at one of our meetings!

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