A leather-booted man took apples
from the trees –
two bushels from the drops alone.
At noon he wandered home.
He wiped pomace from his hands
and sat with me an hour
then off to tend the calves a week newborn,
mend fences, hone the scythe,
and seek the hired man.
With dinner-time and dusk we lit the lamps,
our noses pinched with kerosene –
and lay ourselves in feathers and in down,
tired to the marrow, shadowed,
sweet between the sheets.
The sky flushed red when I awoke,
my hands and face smudged grey
with ashes from a name I can’t recall.
Kathryn King is a sometime artist and poet living in south-central Vermont. The natural world in all its various expressions is probably her greatest love, and the intricacies of human nature one of her greatest fascinations. She carries a short list in a shallow bucket – mostly it reads, ‘Shouldn’t you be outside?’