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Memories of the Farm

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Oh, endless you.
What a story you must have had.
If I had been but stained enough to hear it.
My page had still been blank
But for the doodles and henscratches of green hills
And strawberry pies, and stick figures of mommy and daddy
Holding hands.

If I could stay that way
The way you always will
Happy and young in everyone's memory
I could live on the ceiling of a thousand memories

Nine and sublime
Innocent and green
Skipping forever across strawberry fields in June
And you could hold my hand.


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Past Perfect

The fog clings stubbornly to the top of the towering, lonely aspen at the corner of the orchard. The rooster can be heard crowing, but not seen from the yard. He's down the path a spell, in the coop with his harem. He cries the hour every ten minutes or so. One might think time passes more quickly for farm fowl.

It is early morning, and time waits for me.
I am nine years old.
And it is early spring.

I have woken before my grandparents, my father and my brother. I'm just fine with that. I love taking in the farm while it's so empty and still... it feels as if it is my secret possession. For now, the white, unseen world is mine alone. I make it whatever I like.
I hastily don my galoshes over small, bare feet. I wear my favorite blue denim jumpsuit. It always makes me feel invincible; in a way in which skirts, dresses and printed floral slacks never will.
I am nine.
And eternity stretches out before me.

I sojourn into the heavy mist, calling in a hushed voice as I walk into the yard, to the army of cats and kittens no doubt loitering around the porch for breakfast. I have nothing to offer them, but one or two come trotting to me anyway. Monet, my favorite calico, and Gabrielle or Gabriel come for a few cursory pets. Gabrielle or Gabriel will have a final name once my brother Stan figures out the gender of his own cat.
They don't follow me for long. They're waiting for Grandma to come calling in her high, carrying voice and dump the bulk-bought cat food into their various bowls. Soon, I have nothing but my imagination for company. And that's fine with me.

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