When I leave the pavement with a jolt
I leave what I have for what I know,
for the gravel roads of home that run past
tangled fencerows where the only gaps
are where elms once stood.
I cross the ditch which becomes a torrent in spring
and drive past gnarled oaks and lilacs that bloom on old wood
and try to remember why I left.
The pond lies at the lowest point on the farm
with banks of waving cattails.
Two months past summer solstice…
it’s only half full. A new dock straddles dry ground
because the drought persists.
Clouds hurry overhead.
They neither darken nor slow though we watch.
Dust coats the Queen Anne’s lace
and Ice Age boulders that lie scattered along the fence,
smooth and broad as shoulders.
Bobolinks flirt with each other and the pheasants have returned,
waving mulberry plumage above the grass like ladies with parasols.
Pesticides had thinned them rare but now the ground is clean.
There are worse things than drought.
I saw an eagle yesterday.
He was young because his head was dark.
Eagles don’t often crowd the hawks, but there he sat
atop the ageless oak, surveying the dryness.
Because this is a better place than some.