Today's poem is by Peter Richardson

A Mid-Wife's Late Sabbatical

Say tilted fields run up shadowed valleys
farther than you can walk with an easel,
does it matter? You have a rented horse.
A horse can graze for hours while you,
unpacking canvasses and food, adjust
your skewed optics to the washed air.
Later you can return to your pension
whose shower runs on tokens. Tense
por favors entreat you soon enough
through doorways of notched stone
where instinct demands you deliver
children since doctors are on strike.
Is risk a woman hiked up on a bed?
She may be doing a marathon here.
Your right hand takes her left wrist
and gauges her fine galloping pulse.
One good whack sets her son going.
Then you're back out on the massif,
recalling a wealth of obstetrical tips.
It pleases you to ride from lavender
to lichen as light touches tiled roofs.
How did it take this long for insight
to reach you? Were you asleep? Let
the man hooked on new beginnings,
who shrank from your night sweats,
peel grapes for his child bride. Your
daughters can survive without word
from their painter mother till August.
In the village where you are admired,
where the Basque cafe owner refuses
the Euros you offer for a daily pastis,
lemon trees are losing their blossoms
but you don't mind holing up here, not
for this jumbled throw of terraced fields.

Copyright © 2009 Peter Richardson All rights reserved
from Vallum
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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