Out in back
The sun is hot.
The dust tastes of salt
And feels of chalk,
Soft to the touch
In silken piles.
Gramps is tending,
Weeding and bending,
Feeding and cursing
The blackbirds' nerve.
Cherry, pear, plum, apple,
Pear, apple, apple --
Lined with blackened
Raspberries and
Pie-tin scarecrows.
An arbor, still green,
Needs a few more weeks
Until the grapes
Can show themselves off.
And the train rolls by
Belching steam and smoke,
Rumbling earth and
Settling silence
Before my ears
Out in back.

rjw, 3/20/91

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