I’m spending all the weekend on the farm
with my Aunt Em, the only parent in my world,
she’s good to me
she’s like a mother
mother that I never had to teach me love.
But all day long I hear: “Go milk the cows!
Go feed the pigs! ” Across the muddy yard
the chickens hurry clucking to their chicks
and teach them love-love! I want to shrink
and be a yellow chick and scurry chirping “Love! ”
I’m on the farm and all I want to do
is take my bucket to the well and fill it,
then I’ll sit and watch the weeds grow through the cracks.
They peep out in the rain and tiny flowers
bloom on their tips, and I’m the only one
who sees them - like I was an angel
making them grow. Then I see the pigeons
flocking on the roof, and then I hear the sheep
baaing to their lambs and soon I smell
the dirt under my boots. It’s rich and so I go
to milk the cow. The cowshed’s dark and dry.
I put my hands upon her udder, feeling it
swell and shrink and quick the milk comes squirting
into the bucket by my boots.
Aunt Em yells, “Dorothy, you done? ”
and I keep quiet as a mouse,
hoping she’ll come and look for me
like a mother would.
There’s one guy on the farm who watches me.
He’s tall and steely but I see
he’s got no heart. If only he had one
he’d love me and I wouldn’t miss my mother.
The tractor screeches to a stop outside the barn.
I have to find some oil to stop the rust,
but just for now I’ll give him some fresh milk,
then maybe he will pick me up and kiss me
just like I kissed that chick who chirped “Love Love! ”
March 6 2005