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October 2018, vol 14 no 3

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Mary Ahearn

Landmarks

Consider the grass growing
As it grew last year and the year before...
                              ~ Patrick Kavanagh

I went again this week, mid week, driving the westbound country road still bordered by blue Chicory and Queen Anne's Lace, their colors in harmony with the late Summer skies. The tall Goldenrod and Evening Primroses, just newly in bloom, begin their ascent. Field flowers, weeds to many, invisible to most, live their lives, bud to seed head, along these roads. Driving alone now into the farmlands of Lancaster county, I talk to you. You were always quiet anyway, so if I try, I can still feel you next to me. Our date days, we called them, these modest road trips. Adventures only to us who were satisfied to see the fields, the teams of horses, iron wheeled tractors, and dairies. A free day. No appointments, treatments, closed faced doctors, not today. We'd talk of what we saw, the familiar landmarks first noticed when we were whole, healthy, the before time. Alone now, I say your name, remind you to look for them, these things only we shared. I call out the silly names we gave them, listening for your laugh. Later, perhaps, I'll turn on the radio, but not yet.

witness
to what once was
second sight


Note: Epigraph from Patrick Kavanagh, "Consider the Grass Growing," Collected Poems, edited by Antoinette Quin, Penguin, 2004


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