Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

"The Widow Leaves the Home Place" -- a poem by Leo Dangel

Our life had no sudden tragedy.
The kids grew up and left one by one,
and a slow cancer killed my husband.
People remember a barn that burns down
but forget a dozen that weather away.

I'm used to seeing deserted farms
I never thought ours would be one.
Leaving would be easier if a new family
were moving onto the place.

I can imagine decayed gray boards,
broken windows, and tall yellow grass
up to the sills, but I can't bear
thinking about the years of dusty silence
that will settle in here. 

So I have decided before I leave
I'm going to cook dinner--fried chicken,
mashed potatoes, fresh bread, peas,
cucumbers strawberries and cream.
I'll set the table the way I did
twenty-five years ago, fill the plates,
pour the coffee, and then I'll go.

Let the detectives search for clues,
something out of place
like a butcher knife stuck in the door,
where life was always ordinary
with never a sign of violence.

By Leo Dangel, from Home from the Field: Collected Poems, Spoon River Poetry Press, 1997.


Scott Zeilenga said...

Near perfection. Thanks for posting this.

Judith said...

This wistful "soliloquy" of a poem is just right for the time & place. Grabs the heart. Thanks, Jim.