Sunday, April 6, 2014

April is National Poetry Month, 6

Greathouse Road
by Anne McCrady, from Along Greathouse Road (Eakin Press, 2004).

Before subdivisions and trailer parks
sprang up like volunteer wheat,
this stretch of highway was his favorite
part about riding with his grandfather
back to the house after long days
of moving cows, gathering peaches
and fixing the fence along Onion Creek.
Hugging the metal curve
of the old Chevy truck door,
his skinny chin propped on his forearm
as the draft of the open window
turned his hair into a tousled halo,
he had spent the drive staring
into his grandfather's fields
of maize, the rusty seedtops
flicking past as he listened
to the old man tell stories
of cotton gins and jenny mules
and low-water bridge crossings.
Jostled by the ruts and gullies
of a road meant for tractors,
he slipped into the sleep
of little boys not used to farm work,
slumped against the shoulder
of the only man he knew
who could tell for sure
the heft of dirt ready for planting,
the sky-color of coming rain
and the taste of grain ready
to be pulled from stalks
too proud to bend to progress.

Anne McCrady is a poet, storyteller, and inspirational speaker. Her poetry and prose has been published in literary journals, periodicals, and anthologies. She is a councilor of the Poetry Society of Texas and an officer in the Rusk County Poetry Society.

Thanks to Humanities Texas.

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