by Frances Frost
My father’s face is brown with sun, his body tall and limber.
His hands are gentle with beast or child and strong as hardwood timber.
My father’s eyes are the colors of sky, clear blue or gray as rain:
They change with the swinging change of days while he watches the weather vane.
Nothing could be more beautiful on this earth than our own back yard in the fall. Those who could, came today to eat soup in bread bowls and harvest pumpkins in the rain. The rain because that’s what happened and no child minds it and the pumpkins because they were ready.
Who knew there were so many pumpkins hidden in the patch ?
Choosing a pumpkin is serious business.
As far back as the harvests go and the little grandchildren remember,
they have always loved to arrange the pumpkins . . .
even in the rain.
Talmage doesn’t seem to care that it is raining.
Next, he’ll take a picture.
Grandpa left carrots in the ground for the horses.
Even in the rain they are getting hard to pull.
Holden displays the art of the pitchfork
with two feet and one hand and perfect balance
without giving up the apple
just picked from the tree.
Those are very beautiful carrots for a lucky horses.
A little sun has come out and the rain has stopped.
“Look on the ground”, Grandpa tells Maya. “That’s where the little babies are.”
Afton found the curliest stem.
( Be careful with it. )
Maya says she has an idea.
“Keep me warm, Grandpa.”
That’s what Olive says.
It doesn’t feel like summer rain.
That galleon, golden upon our barn, veers with the world’s four winds.
My father, his eyes on the vane, knows where to fill our barley bins,
To stack our wood and pile our mows with redtop and sweet tossed clover.
He captains our farm that rides the winds, a keen-eyed brown earth-lover.