“The old man’s talkin’ to himself again!”
groused Jake to Rachel, his wife.
“Gonna say somethin’ t’ him
’bout how strange it is hearin’ his voice
comin’ out from the trees!
Gives me the willies
in the mornin’s”
“Please yourself, Jacob.
I can’t see what good or ill
Jacob caught the old man limping from
the woods behind the orchard.
‘Hay! Old man! Old man!
don’t ya hear me yellin’?”
The old man paused, his back to Jake,
twisted his head to watch Jake
jump from his tractor, stomp over to him,
hitching up his overalls as he came.
“Morning,” said the old man.
“Who you talkin’to while you’re
wanderin’ ’round, trespasin’ in my woods,
not that I mind?”
The old man smiled.
He had known Jacobs people.
Had taught his father- work,
was schoolmate to his grand-dad,
had learned farming from his great grand-dad
who passed before Jacob was born.
“Who’s ever willin’ to listen, Mr. Swenson.”
“And what if no one’s willin’?”
Jakes face was a twisted smerk.
“Then, I’ll listen – to me.
Always been a good listener”
Jake grunted, wheeled, marched to his tractor,
shaking his head, muttering,
“Damn fool old man! Loosin’ his brains!”
“Guess he don’t have no time to chat”‘
sighed the old man.
He pondered a moment where he might go, now.
Having no other, pressing engagments,
he returned to the willows by the stream,
down the soft slope behind the orchard.
don’t fret my dearheart i’ve never tired
talking to you now what were you saying
about winter’s passing
Sarahs soft whisper had always brought
a smile to Abrahams face.
“So, yes, I am some pleased spring’s finally come.
Gives my achin’ bones some relief.”
He talked on while the whole, wide, whirlling universe
slowed Herself a little,
bowed Her head to him, and