Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Memories of Springtime Past


Here is the telling of one of my early memories of a day when the secret of life opened up to a barely conscious lad.



An Early Time

It was early morning.
There was a mist in the air
And dew on the ground.
The clover aroma of spring
Mingled with the scent of moist earth.

It was early morning
As I stepped out the back door
With sleepy eyes.
I was three years old.

At the edge of the yard
I saw a grand white mule
Standing in the springtime mist –
The largest animal I had ever seen.
Beside the mule
Was a dark-skinned man in denim overalls.
My father stood there with them
His laughter rippled the morning air.

I went running across the yard,
Shoes collecting dew,
Lungs sampling the damp air.
I had to see the great white beast.
He stood tall
Shoulders brimming with power,
Head proudly facing the day,
Subdued grunts and clouds of breath
Spewing from his large nostrils.

It was early morning
As I hastily made my way ahead.
Before I could reach the mythic beast
I heard a shout from behind.
“Stop!” cried my mother.
“That mule might kick you.”

I stopped.
Then I slowly edged forward.
How close would they let me get?
If only I could touch
That white behemoth.

It was early morning
And the rhythmic chore began.
A cadence of sound emerged
From leather straps, metal rings,
Wooden handles, steel plow,
Heavy grunts, and slow steady hoof beats.
All moved together like a ship heading out of dock.
Cutting through the ground,
They left a red clay wake
As man and beast crossed the green clover field.

It was early morning
And an early time
When a three-year-old boy
Took more into his heart
Than he could realize.
He walked into a spring day
Humid with promise –
A powerful beast shrouded in mist,
The heavy earthy aromas,
A father laughing
And a mother warning of danger ahead.



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