Poems From The Porch
Pigpen on a Tractor
The air is dusty this morning
because my husband wanted to get an early start on the mowing.
There is a delightful coolness bringing in a week of rain.
I had no idea that dust enveloped him when he mowed.
Charlie Brown fans would thing that he is Pigpen on a tractor.
I was more aware of the relentless heat that bronzes his skin
and greedily sucks fluid from his pores
when he grooms and prunes the land.
He is a hard worker,
this man who knows every part of me.
His tools are his hands,
building our life together in the hours beyond estimate
of the labor he has invested in our home.
Maintaining this sanctuary is his ministry,
although he wouldn’t use that word.
He understands himself as a steward,
which also applies.
His sweat is his love poured out for his family
in every pound of the hammer and push of the shovel.
But that is not all,
no, that is far from the only way
that his love is revealed.
I see it in his eyes
when we join for our morning hug.
I feel it in his anger
when he senses that I disapprove of him.
I know it in the tolerance he demonstrates
when I display my arrogance;
and I hear it every evening when he says,
“Good night, sweetie. I love you.”
One day, and then another,
we live in the rhythm that we have created together;
the mornings, on our own;
the daytime, accomplishing our separate tasks;
the evenings, a reuniting
of what was never truly apart.
Coffee-prayer on the porch for me,
coffee waking him up in his recliner.
Intellectual pursuits, listening, and reflecting
are my daily offerings.
He spends his days in physical toil.
In the evenings, I am back on the porch,
but I am not alone.
He is there beside me,
and I next to him
to recount our pleasures and frustrations,
but mostly to watch the birds
and the cats
and the grandeur of the oaks
as the sun sets around us.
What more should I want
than this simple, beautiful life?