Sculpted curve and curl aglee
Stilly lap white
Cap silent flat shivering white
Upon an endless white sea
Open blank windows yaw
Sucked of warmth by empty winds
Heedlessly plying in and out.
First the wallpaper peeled,
Then the stale plaster cracked.
Little beady eyes stopped but found nothing here
Blizzard beliefs silently built
Until a pillow drift lies across
Of the loving bed
The borning bed
The snoring bed
The boring bed
The dying bed
The laughing bed
Knowing only rust
Creaks one last time
Stories never again known.
Of gentle nuzzle
And mumbling kiss
Rousing to walk crying babies
by hissing gaslight
Warmly looking out a frost flowered window
At an ice cracking dawn
And shivering within.
Of last beers piled on a table
While Thor and Les argued and fought
Over and over slurring the same
And swearing at the same
Angry and yelling at the lonely
When they go back to being bachelor neighbors
The crackling main timbers part
And fire falls down through.
The dirt is filled in
With grass planted atop.
(In accordance with the old man’s will. The last of 5
generations in the same home, his way of saying “No more.”)
Silent solitary gravestones attend
Wallowing in unmown hay
Far from their urban descendants.
The rural folk have died away;
Strong souls passed.
Tim Ralston grew up on a farm north of Petersburg, North Dakota.
He passed away in 2010 in Bismarck, North Dakota.
This poem is excerpted from Tributaries, © 2016 by Buffalo Commons Tavern, LLP