Sunday, March 4, 2018

There Are Stories

In the pasture, dog harried horses hoove
the hollow ground.  The guts beneath the prairie grass
are gone.  The great alabaster bones creak and groan
like some old arthritic god.  These are the stories

my grandfather didn't tell me.
How the red dirt wind had teeth.
How it chewed holes in his mama,
leaving her a little crazy

and mean.  How any extra
food was left out at night
somewhere easy to steal
so as not to make beggars of men.
How malaria took chunks
of his childhood -ice baths and isolation
in a hospital no one visited
because it was too far off the farm.

He sang Yellow Rose
of Texas and walked
the floor with me cradled against
his strong, steady heart.
His hands were calloused
from days spent pulling
crude and beating the derrick drums,
but he always held me gently,
and there are stories he never told me.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

14 comments:

Donna@LivingFromHappiness said...

This took me deep into my heart and the stories, so many, I missed about life for so many of my ancestors. Deep feeling, heart wrenching, poignant and strong....yet I too remember my grandfather holding me gently even though I knew later his stories were so hard. A stark and powerful poem!

Jae Rose said...

There is a tenderness against the harsh landscape.. the image of being cradled by calloused hands really stood out

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Such a wonderful portrait......those hard working hands that held you so gently. Loved this so much!

brudberg said...

Love how you told about the hardships... the terror you never told a child, yet in you he saw the future... what a wonderful image and what a gift to be given.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Love the way you describe hardships in this poem especially; "How the red dirt wind had teeth"... Beautifully poignant.

annell said...

A beautiful poem, you could have been writing about my family, in the oil fields of Texas.

Neeraj Khanka said...

True, some stories are never told...may be not meant to be told to keep the faith alive.

Mary said...

What a vivid portrait of your grandfather. And...those stories not told...I am sure there were many, by all of our grandmothers and grandfathers. But now I wish I had asked more questions of them as well!

Toni Spencer said...

An amazing poem - the wind had teeth - the bones beneath the earth - the stories not told. Some stories are too heartbreaking to tell. the few my father told me of WWII always made him cry so I rarely asked. So much pain in our pasts but...

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Absolutely wonderful. A loving portrait against a vivid backdrop of place/time/history/ancestry.

kaykuala said...

food was left out at night
somewhere easy to steal
so as not to make beggars of men.

Being considerate beyond what is expected is such a noble attitude!

Hank

Fireblossom said...

Love the details.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Wow. This really got under my imagination. Got me thinking of my long lost grandfather. There is tenderness in these details. Not sentimental, but possessing great feeling. Loved. Thanks.

grapeling said...

this gives me chills, MZ - deeply rooted and felt, and beautiful ~