Friday, September 23, 2005

Just One More Bite

Old man lay in bed, stuck in a nursin' home.
All alone, no one left but him
To talk 'bout old days, remember Mama and Pap.
Laugh over family doin's or mourn
Those gone before.
Eyes rimmed with white and sightless
All the meat gone from his bones.
Withered hand moves ever, ever seeking
Maybe searchin' for a tool.
Lookin' for somethin' to do.
Neighbor stops in, from the room next door,
Just to pause an' talk.
Says her howdy, wheels her chair close
Asks how he has been
If the world is treatin' him right.
Old man turns his head t'ward her
Smiles a toothless smile,
Yes, he's doin' mighty fine
Then asks, how 'bout her,
Has she heard news from home?
Indeed, she has, she shares it now,
Of folks he never knew,
Stories of great grandkids an' her kin.
He closes his eyes an smiles a while,
Thinkin, listenin'.
When she is done, he thanks her then
An' asks a favor too.
If she were home, an' was able now
If she had folks a' comin' in
Just what would she be cookin'?

Old woman grinned a knowin' grin.
They played this game before.
For folks stuck in a nursin' home
It was familiar fare
To talk of food an' the way it once had been.
If folks stopped by, I reckon then
I'd have to start right early.
Peelin' spuds an' roots an' all.
I reckon I'd need a little help.
So, don't lay there long, get out your knife
An' start now peelin'.
I reckon I'd put some Irish taters on to boil,
An' ad just a bit o' milk,
Makes them taters smooth an white
An' gives a sweeter taste.
While we're peelin' add some sweet taters,
I'll make sweet tater cassarole.
Fry a hen, real good an' crisp
Now, thinkin, maybe two.
Soak some good ol' country ham.
Make coffee for red eye gravy.
An' you just know I better have
Cream gravy for them spuds.
Crack some pecans, shell 'em out
For on top the cassarole.
Now, let me think, I know they's more
More I better do.
Yessir, better go to the back
Gather in some things,
Sweet peas to shelly out,
An apron full o' string beans.
A pan of lettuce for to wilt,
Green onions over there.
Grab a few head of cabbage, sweet.
I'll need to fry us some,
Melt a big ol' spoon o' bacon grease
Chop up that head an' throw 'er in.
We'll watch an' cook 'er down.
Add radishes, carrots, cucumber
Oh what a feast
I know we're gonna have.

Old woman sat an' talked,
In her mind she cooked many things.
She toiled with love o'er every dish,
She fussed an' fretted there.
She knew how to cook, knew it was good

Sunday, September 18, 2005

September Song

I think often of the hills of home and long to be there,
Where the twilight is just the setting of a scene
For the eternal song of the hills,
Sung by the bats - high and unheard by folks,
Tree frogs join in their high chorus
Along with cicadas, crickets
And dozens of little ol' singin' things.
The hooty owl gives chase to the tune with a baritone "whoooo".
The bass is sung by the thunder rollin' through the hills an' hollers of home.
The listener is just plain mountain folks...
Folks who knew to stay and listen.
I yearn to hear that nightly concert,
Sung the same night after night like a siren,
Callin' to those who have the hills in their blood.
Callin' like a lover to me.
Callin' my name as if it has known me forever...
For it has, it truly has.