Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Then again


When my grandfather bought the land
that became the farm that became the place where I grew up,
there was near its north boundary the remnant of an old vineyard
of Alicante Bouschet. I never saw those vines, but now,
before dawn, on this cool September morn,
their dust-red bunches coming on,
I give them to you.

Then, again, maybe I give you a song.

When I was eight, my father planted five acres more,
then five again the following year, and then, in his mind, again,
I wonder, how many times more.

I give them to you, the years, the sun, the hail,
the rain, the ruined crops.

The bright-red juice,
running down
my arms.

Their dust-red gravestones,
overhung by the shadows of street-trees.

As much, here, as gone.