Over by the compost heap, the shovel
rests in turned earth—its blade an obstacle
for the many earthworms who rise up
from the firm ground to consume vegetables.

She gathers rose petals in an old washtub
on the back porch and water from the well.
Her bare feet depress the green grasses,
the brown grasses, the prints of mice.

Larka puts on a swan white blouse,
tweed pants, suspenders. Her hair,
fresh from washing, drips onto her chest,
plasters blouse to flesh.

The creek flows past the orchard,
past the dogs’ chase games without noticing.
The water’s rough decent flows around rocks
sets spray to light for shimmering mist-bows.

From the front porch swing, she sees
the dust cloud on the gravel road.
It approaches until the old truck bounces
into view, engine cranking a drive shaft.

He steps out of the cab, sweat soaked shirt
beneath a ragged blue overall bib.
His farm blunt hands unhook his brass.
His sun bleached lips draw her upward.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

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