Saturday, September 26, 2009


Tonight, over the stove
over a big pot of
eggplant and garlic and tomatoes
and sea salt and onions
and a single beautiful Turkish bay leaf
and pepper and oregano
and one last summer zucchini
i am talking on the telephone
with my mother.
Our nightly conversations
are filled with the events of our day
we laugh about the dogs
and tonight i thank her
for the stark little painting
she made for my husband for his birthday
a scene from Afghanistan...two horsemen
galloping and one being shot through the chest
her wild handwriting below reminds my husband
that his growing older, his troubles, are not so terrible
“at least we are not in Afghanistan!”
but her voice drops
“whatta day we had...”
and i know something terrible has happened on the farm
“Flamboyana is dead...”
my mother’s long headed funny old race mare
nineteen years old with the soul of a nun
an elegant granddaughter
of the great Gallant Bloom
on her dam's side
stood stunned in the stall this morning...
when my mother came with her breakfast
the old bay mare didn’t move toward her bucket
and upon inspection, my mother found
a startling swollen hind leg
the medicine cabinet was opened
and syringes were filled
the vet was called
and it was determined that the delicate old flower
had broken her leg
in the night
in the stall
by some freak twist
I turned the heat down on my ratatouille
I stirred it with my old wooden spoon
and cried as my mother told me of calling men
men to bury Flamboyana
today was the first day of deer hunting season
and all the men with bulldozers were hunting
but finally a wife called a wife who called another wife
and a man arrived with the proper heavy equipment
and Flamboyana was put asunder
on the edge of my mother’s beautiful yellow field
only a mile from the Watery River
where the coyotes and the deer and the foxes and the snakes
will run over her under the southern stars...
good night good mare, good night.

1 comment:

Mr said...

Thanks for changing the background colour. Much easier on the eyes!