Moss and Memories
Clear water drifts through swimming holes,
across flat rocks, down waterfalls,
through canebrakes full of fishing poles
where owls are practicing their calls.
The milky way and moon still shine
above a field of weeds and thorn,
the place our heifer, Clementine,
delivered a small calf one morn.
By coal-oil lantern’s golden light,
I braced the calf’s unsteady feet,
in shadows deep and late at night,
so that the calf could stand and eat.
Moss grows now where choppin’ block stood
in shade of leafy black jack tree.
When Daddy split the kindling wood,
he handed small pine chips to me
to place inside an apple crate,
behind the stove in our front room.
The paling fence and broken gate
still stand and pink azaleas bloom.
I love the smog-free mountain air
around our house of weathered boards.
Each spring, Mama planted with care
speckled beans and big, dipper gourds.
© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols