edward lilley

Breaking Through Brambles - Poem by edward lilley

Walk with me, gray man
Among your pines, grown taller than the stable now.
Unleash the dog and follow down the creekbed
Through the berried valley
To the ruins of your boyhood home.

Drink spring water from cupped hands,
Stomach down, as we have many times before.
There will be no talk until we rest
And chew the spicy leaves from the pockets of your coat.
Even then, we'll only talk of crops, guns, and chickens.

Dusk will slow the easy flow of words
And we will have three hills to climb
A field of hip-high grass
You must show me Indian corn again
As you have many times before but don't remember.

All this before we find the roots of sassafrass,
Bring some back for tea.
Cold wind will move us quickly now through briars toward Mom's voice.
Her wave will call us home to eat.

Then, after you have groaned a sigh,
Stretched the length of back porch steps
To pull the jaggers from your socks
And named each type by piles
I will try to talk with you
As I have never done before
And may only half succeed.

But this I know.
All that I now love, dear man,
Of things I see, taste, hear and smell,
You put my hand to.

What shall I do to let you know the gift of that,
But pet your dog, shell your corn and plan our walk in winter?

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 17, 2006

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