April 21 – Day Twenty-One: odes to the olds

Day 21. Still at farm.  2 poems inspired by my parents. Sorry the second one is a bit long, I didn’t have time to write a short one. I think they’re humorous, even if my folks don’t haha.

1.
Woman on Hill

my mother crabs across the horizon
slow pegging sheets & beach towels
a gangly crustacean 
in a shabby dressing gown
her apparent aim
to block my view of the dawn

as retaliation
i roll over
turning away from
the surreal seascape
outside the window
& return to sleep

2.
Man in Well

today’s task: to reboard a well
the encasing earth is trying to reclaim
it’s a bigger job than he remembers
(he lured me here with the proviso,
it would only take a couple of hours
however, years of such requests
have taught me scepticism)

we measure the depth: 13 feet to the water
13 more beyond to the bottom
(the ladder only reaches 16)
after the mandatory jokes about
him “accidentally” falling in
& me destroying the latest will
he claims I’ve been written out of
we begin our bodgy job
tying ladders off against the wall
so they hang precariously
swinging tools down on bits of string
& clambering around, climbing up & down
we prop, we strut, we hammer, we nail
we brace, we saw, we dig, we board off

eventually getting the job done in reasonable fashion
did better than I thought we might, another admission
his couple of hours raging into five
the black jokes about hammers accidentally
dropping on his head or the safety rope snapping
endure for the duration of the operation
& made marginally more poignant
by the discovery half way through
a five foot long brown snake
has either chosen, or fallen, to make
the water his home (most likely the later)
& would swiftly finish him off
if the fall did not

*****

well

Image moi: Looking into the hole, pre-bodgy-fixup (if you look closely the snake is on the float on the bottom left  corner)

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