The Only Bluff in Iberia

Farm Party prep gone awry

Light rain tonight,
Missouri farm.
After the neighbors have helped,
After they have asked after us
Who are growing up here
Six days a year.

Mice droppings on divan.
Recluse on back porch, ghost-brown.
Dust and dauber carcasse.
Somehow the lights still work.
Weeds, stickers, tag-alongs.
Jimson weed and bramble.

Tractor mishap, tractor on brink.
Eric bails, burns finger, makes calls
Like sending out smoke from atop the bluff.
I uproot, listen, wait.

Vines and young trees, insidious ivy.
With a little dirt they try to make
Something of life in shallow soil
On sandstone.

Wrecker, woman driving, wearing
Fluorescent green, like the man spotting her,
Chain-smoking cigarillos. Their attache,
With a thick salt & pepper beard,

Sails up the rutted driveway in a
Rust-blue compact SUV.
K & T Towing, diesel fumes, contemplation.
Is the tractor clinging to or
Held up by Iberia’s only bluff?

No dice. Last card, call
Carmack, lessee of pasture,
Suitor of this land, on scene
Quick in a white truck. One better
He leaves, returns on the treads
Of a dozer, with chain.

Fence cut. Triangle. I saw two
Trees, as does Eric. I watch
My hammock tree come down
By the tooth of my inherited saw.

Vectors, wrecker as anchor, dozer
Backs into pasture, raising tractor.

Second cousin, cloudy day. As
The cows lo I pull one plant at a time.
The people have gone, the tractor is safe away.
They were the other people who love this farm.

I’m the tall guy.
I’ll sleep with the lights on to overseas radio.
If the morning opens its arms
To me I’ll smile, I’ll
Come walking through it.