Things A Broken Hinge
Means To Me

I

(Modeled after "The Pasture" by Robert Frost)


I'm going out to feed the little chicks
chirpking in the baby chickens coop. They're so young
they look like yellow balls of dandelion fluff.
If you'd like, you may come along too.

I'm going out to catch the wild kittens
hiding in the corn crib. They're so young
they might let me touch them if their mother's gone.
If you'd like, you may come along too.



II



The outhouse or enamel pot? The pot
is more than I can stand before breakfast.
Besides, then I'll probably have to dump it.
But it's so cold upstairs, who wants to go out back?

Down into the feather ticks I snuggle
until I think my bladder will pop.
Then reaching out, I grab the clothes I dropped
last night, quickly dressing beneath the covers.

It's such a pain to put on winter garb,.
a hat, a coat, some boots a scarf,
just to dart outside and bare your butt
to a bracing winter breeze.

Corn husks or a catalogue, I've tried them both
and neither is a choice I long to make.
But this brisk bitter morning Montgomery Ward
wins the war, and I hurry to the breakfast table.



III



The kitchen smells of fresh warm milk
that stands in a gray pail, waiting to be
skimmed and separated. Yesterday's cream
is chilled in a white pitcher on the table.

Fried chicken fills a large oval platter,
and crisp fried bacon is sitting on another
while eggs float in popping bacon grease
as Aunt Ethel overcooks them.

Uncle Manford and Dad tell tall tales,
who caught last summer's biggest bass,
as they pour rich cream on crunchy bran flakes,
and gravy on Lucy's biscuits, Lucy being my mother.

My sister and I wait for strawberries to thaw,
the ones we picked and stemmed last summer until
our fingers felt raw, because they let us put them on
cereal, with lots of cream and sugar, just the way we like them.

Love, Jody

First Place Winner in Special Theme Poetry
Iowa State Convention
of the
League of American Pen Women, 2000