When I was a girl, spring never came
until the Van Middlesworth brothers
rumbled their team and wagon up Chimney Rock Road.
King and Barney kept their pace.
I’d wait to hear them wagoning up our lane
familiar over dirt and stone.
They knew the place–
the vegetable garden
and between the Concord grapes.
Evenly they plowed through morning–
carved up the heavy rug of grass
and curled it over
in diagonals and straights.
Like toothpaste squeezed
the greens turned over into chocolate.
I saw redwing blackbirds
flash their folded signals.
Lilacs came unsheathed and shed their rain.
Two old horses
and two old men
had dug up spring again.
“It happens this was the first poem I ever had published–but it’s appropriate for this time of year. Also it’s all true. I grew up in the deep country in New Jersey–but just 30 miles from Manhattan. So both a country mouse and a city mouse. Every spring my parents asked the Van Middlesworth brother (nearby farmers) to come and plough our big vegetable garden and between the Concord grapes.”
ABOUT NANCY REKOW – Nancy Rekow is an award-winning poet who began writing decades ago while attending an inspirational workshop held by Bob McAllister. Over the years Rekow has led many writing workshops herself, served as the first director of the Bainbridge Island Arts Council, and has helped write or publish a variety of books – including Island of Geese & Stars, 80 Candles, No Single Story, and Ferry Tales from Puget Sound. Rekow is perhaps best known for co-authoring and editing Minnie Rose Lovgreen’s Recipe for Raising Chickens (1975) and As Far As I can Remember: Minnie Rose Lovgreen’s Life Story (2010). For more information on Rekow please go to http://www.nwtrilliumpress.com/AboutNWTrilliumPress.htm