Ain’t Nothing Straight (v.2.3)

Ain’t nothing straight:
This farm house
Bain to masons;
The jigsawed barn
Anathema— in 2007
A one-footed carpenter
Threw his hammer over
The hill, and I found
It years later
Ensconced with rust;
In 1999, the Venetian
Complimented the fence rows—
So straight, so precise—
Ignoring the rolling hills.
The wind? Not straight neither,
Combing the fields into
Parts: left, right, backwards,
Cowlicked. What kind of place,
Where the walnuts wend
Wayward, and the spring
Trickles at turns silver,
Opaque, translucent, its
Fish free to fly to the
Shenandoah, Potomac,
Just as rivers run straight!

I’ve seen nothing straight—
My sister, the one who
Reads Emily Post, shows me
Her her crooked fingers,
Bent now at the
Knuckle below the nail.
It’s a syndrome, she says.
I remember in 1984
When she bought a
Purple Rain poster,
Hanging it on her West
Virginian wall.
Holy, this disobedience!
Even the pious,
Bent at the knee,
Flip to the page
The priest instructs.
So much flipping—
So much rise and sit,
Fall, and arise! But
Across the open pasture,
Spiraled sunshine streams
Forth—touching nothing as
It passes near,
And almost straight through.

3 thoughts on “Ain’t Nothing Straight (v.2.3)”

  1. Thank you so much for this poem that includes your sister. I am an old woman who is also bent and crooked, no longer straight and tall as I was when younger and fuller of energy to burn. Now, I read and appreciate others adventures, I cruise the internet instead of cities, I love differently.

    I just finished your 2013 book, “Gaining Ground”. I felt surprise, laughter, tears and most of all hope! Hope that our beautiful land can be more than factory farms producing cheap but adulterated food that is not recognizable by our earth.

    Thank you,

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