The Pumpkin Grower

the-great-pumpkin

The Pumpkin Grower
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Her Hands

crochet

Her Hands

Her hands are red, chapped, cold
big fingers, short nails.
She’s been hanging clothes on the line
in coldest winter again.

The sheets come in dried and frozen
stiff, fresh and breezy.
When they warm
everyone wants them on their bed.

Her hands are red, peeling, hot
big fingers, short nails.
She’s been rinsing the dishes
in boiling water again.

She’s stacked the foggy plates
into the dish drainer
where they dry instantly,
no germ stands a chance of survival.

Later, she takes up her crocheting
chapped, raw hands, no longer red
big fingers, short nails.
How delicately she maneuvers the threads.

Her wedding band wore through long ago
from too much floor scrubbing her daughter said.
A delicate diamond would look silly on
those wide fingers that never saw a manicure.

Hands that plant purple petunias, pull weeds
big fingers, short nails dirty and torn.
She scrubs them clean until they’re red.
They smooth my hair and say I love you.

© photo and poem caf

Death of a Hummingbird

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The Hummingbird’s Death

The hummingbird on the stone walk
outside my door
lay so still

I picked him up tentatively
thinking he was dreaming
but his eyes remained closed
and my eyes found tears.

What happened to you?
I whispered to his softness…
No answer

I buried him in my garden
near some sage
and placed a stone
to mark the spot.

By way of eulogy
I wished him joyous flight
and offered prayers of awe
that in my hand
I had held Magic wrapped in feathers.

©photo and poem by caf

Finding the Heart

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Finding the Heart

She stood on stones in the creek crying
Someone asked why are there tears in all this beauty?

She answered
because the creek flows
the raven croaks
the wind sings to my heart.

This flesh that grew around my spirit
wants to dance in the rain
cry in the sun
roll in grass
quiver with aspens.

Why is this?

Butterfly answers
my spirit measures travel in and out of itself
in generations
and doesn’t count the miles
or wonder why.
It only knows it must travel.

Rain tells her
Stop managing your tears,
they are the way you find your heart.

©photo and poem by caf

In Spring

april sunrise

In Spring

When the morning makes itself pink
and sometimes orange
and the clouds wear dark blue
and the rain stops for a moment,
the clean chill in the air
finds her bones
and calls them to love even the coyotes
who ate the deer
even the deer who ate her Magnolia
even the dead mouse in her cellar,
for Spring mornings renew the world
renew her body.
She says
I think I could run and live forever
if it were always Spring.

© photo and poem by caf

A Snowy Day

snow shadows

A Snowy Day

She walked through her garden in winter
among old flowers brown and gray
sapped of green youth
and soft, tender growth.

Aged stalks moved stiffly in the frigid breeze
although their shadows on rippled snow
swayed nimbly – the only evidence of grace
remaining near their hardened bodies.

Old seed pods and husks clacked and rattled
against each other
shedding their hearts
with each gust of wind

It’s simple, she thought, someday everything comes to this
the bare beauty of a snowy day
the sharing of seeds
and gentle shadows on the snow.

© photo and poem by caf

A Day Like This

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A Day Like This

Some days are made for gazing
long into the distance
where dusty words
are excused from stale thoughts
as your body wears a rut into a comfortable chair
by a big window overlooking a field or forest.

Some days are for ruminating, wondering
about nothing much at all
but who’s coming up the road
and why the lilacs are budding so soon
while dishes soak in the sink
and floors beg for a sweeping.

Some days never rise
but lie napping by a snoring dog
who barks between snorts
while the leash lies idle
and coat sleeves remain empty.

If such a day should come to you
tend to it as you would a sleeping child
let it relax, keep it safe
treasure it and check on it often
for such days are when your soul grows
your life’s poetry.

© photo and poem by caf