Remembered Memories

Clear the tears from your eyes
Forget this crazy world of money changers, oath breakers
The ones that cut all the trees to fuel the fires of Isengaard
And pay to have those certain politicians so inclined
Speak the words, scripted so, to enslave us all
Rather think on a simpler time
Of rock fences and hand split cedar fence posts
Less catchy slogans – more real words
Real places – 34 acres of field in South Bessemer
A red barn and milkhouse
Purpose built to store straw and house the herd
Each with a given name
Daily chores – children picking potato bugs and strawberries
Warm from the sun
Busting open ice topped water buckets and splitting kindling
when the temperature drops
Pitching hay and putting wood in the stove
Gathered from the corner woodlot
6 acres of maple and oak next to a small cedar grove
All deserted now
A mid November storm wall approaches from the north west
Rolling over all in it's path, dropping wind driven snow
At times – an inch an hour – for 3 straight days
The trails now disappeared from this wild hay meadow
The last inhabitants, a mother doe and two fawns
Migrate north to a stand of balsam
Remembered memories from past winters – for thermal cover
An occasional branch snaps with the weight of snow
Making for one easy meal
The wind picks up speed and slaps the bearded heads of taller grass
Down against the snow – writing – calligraphy
Written, erased, rewritten
As black/brown oak leaves are torn from their high perch
and pinwheel across this northern sky
Recent history – all remembered.

MTA Poet Laureate, Jim MildrenJim Mildren is the longtime manager of the Gogebic County Transit system in Ironwood, Michigan at the westernmost point of the Upper Peninsula. He is an avid outdoorsman, bicyclist and runner and enjoys writing about nature and the world around him. Jim traditionally reads a new poem or two at every state transit convention he attends and is considered the Poet Laureate of the Michigan Public Transit Association. He and his lovely wife Ellen reside in Ironwood and have two grown children and a grandson out-of-state who they love to visit whenever possible.

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