By Ursula McCabe
I must have done something right
never was I bored at the Michigan farm that held me clapboard tight in the old house’s arms every June grandpa drove his silver blue mercury down to Illinois to pick me up grandma gritting her teeth as he sped past all the flat land with no stops had to make miles that’s what he said but as soon as I saw the apple trees that lined the yard it was time for summer to dish out all it had from tree frogs to tadpoles highest corn patch pale green tomato worms with horns and my best friend Diane there weren’t many indoor days and if there were our small fingers would wind around leftover blue yarn from the knitting basket for an afternoon of cat’s cradle nothing was ever bad
That summer was the longest one I remember and it was also the summer the doe came to me in the forest near my grandparent’s farm. She approached me from the side, a deer with one headlight, her other eye hid from my sight. Slowly her neck extended to my hand where curiosity misted my palm as she exhaled. Her chestnut flanks quivered and I stood still and drank the scene- nose delicate and flared, hide a muted dun color, like oak leaves in fall. Just for a bit we rested in the forest under a canopy of trees- then she was gone. She lives in a poem I keep next to my bed. Sometimes I can even reach out and touch her- she’s a stanza composed of grassy smells, a hooved story all my own.
tomorrow the tomato will be just right a curvaceous beauty filled with sunshine flesh plump under fingers I will think of you gone boy your wide-mouthed teenage glow high cheekbones anchoring a smile that now is only left in photos when we eat that tomato the juice will flow not tears- those were today tomorrow fat red love will rule