the sound of command and reassurance

October 15, 2011


There were sounds and smells that you remember as a kid. They are comforting sounds. One was the tail of a horse swatting his hind legs. And the snort he gave of satisfaction as he shook his shoulders. Another was the sound of the buckboard moving down the potholed dirt road. And the sound my grandfather made with his mouth, a kind of  ‘tha, tha’ as he urged the horse on. It was both a sound of command and reassurance. The sound of that time. My childhood.

…………………………………

SUMMERSIDE

In the spring you could see the sun

reposing like a guest

on the horses’ shoulders.

The horses were red, answering to the names,

Queen and King.

It had just rained and the fields were lime green.

The clay bled.

And the red rain rushed through the ditches

to the river about a mile or so down.

The water being red was a sure sign,

the old man said,

that the winter was beaten back once more.

King and Queen and their entourage,

the buckboard, the young lad, and the old man,

kicked up quite a fuss,

fanning the high green grass with red spray.

A thin veil of water crystals

hung like Christmas ornaments

crowding both side of the road

flicking on and off

celebrating the ticker tape parade

welcoming their warrior heroes back home.

Those were the days

folks lived in the mud,

before they straightened out the road

and the old man.

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