A family garden Come a summer afternoon, we'd drive county roads dug beside miles of ripening corn fields to Father's old house, where the grandparents would be standing by the door to welcome us with buckets and gloves. On our hike to the garden, flying insects arched entrances and exits through the high grass, the steel buckets swung a dull cadence from fat capsules of grain atop dusty blades, and the grownups recited the nature and timing of vegetables in a folksy language. Among the weeded rows, tomatoes burst from their vines, firm beans fit the grooves of our hands, and carrots shrugged clean from the earth. Later, in the kitchen, we shared a feast that defied labels, and the women scooped fresh bits of summer into Ball jars for savoring in winter. Then Gilbert died, and Ruth grew into a small, frail woman, and her kids sold the house and land to pay for her keep at Franklin Methodist Home. These days, when August is the pressure of sunlight against the cotton on my back and runs hot fingers of sweat through my scalp, I drive our four boys down the interstate and slow past Grampa's old house, where grass has covered the mounds of a garden left untended, and we drive on, to a country with one season, on a continent beyond the language of my youth.
Mark T. Curry's Questions:
1. I'm told Poems featuring nature are definitely not in.I've read that every nature poem has already been written. Is this true? Have you read this poem, or one similar, before?
2. What do you like about this poem? How can I improve it? The part at the end is true, we live in a different country now than where I grew up. I'm pleased with the ending, but what does it mean to you?
3. Does the part about the bucket making a cadence on the grains atop the grass stems make sense to you?