Today's poem is by Eleanor Paynter

Memory of Soil

The new tenants change a few things.
They whitewash the red kitchen,
lay a rug on the wood floor, hang

long curtains and photographs of other people
from other pasts. Their centerpiece is
plucked from the July meadow, sunflowers

leaning on the sides of the vase.
The house creaks with seasons.
They coat the scent of roasted pecans

in new recipes, new coffee
from a new coffee pot. At dinner they talk
of different days and different diseases.

Open and close the door without
remembering hands that set glass
in smooth cherry, place a bench

on the deck where hummingbirds hovered
in pairs at the feeder, their count logged
in notebooks with monarchs and deer.

They make their own paths
to the pond and plant cattails, stock the water
with bass. When they mow down little blue stem

for Bermuda, they don't know to miss
dragonfly dart over paintbrush tips,
hidden quail nests and cottontail burrows.

Midnight coyote cries remind them
of the miles to the city. A different dog wakes
and learns to howl at the window.

Innocently, they plough
the bluebonnet field, where he fell,
and where she mourned him.

Copyright © 2008 Eleanor Paynter All rights reserved
from Lumina
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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