Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Raid


The Raid

Purple clover and meadow foxtail grass
rimmed edge of field and "forest"
where sister's and my fort was an old oak limb
slumberously hanging over property line
offering a world secret and secure 
during summer's heat.

However, I recall cool mornings
where I'd lay upon grass, enchanted,
tempted by luscious berries slowly deepening
to ruby red, heavy upon stalks, almost pouting
in their perfect little circle garden 
Father had dug for Mother.  It took a bit of discipline
to resist such flavor, but father promised 
the wait would be worth it.

The berries were surrounded with scrolled white wire,
twelve inches high where I knew little fairies sat,
shared laughs while fashioning clothes
from scalloped green leaves -
I just never caught sight of them.

June in Illinois is humid and hot, buggy,
where the drone of insects overpowers birdsong.
It was a day like this, sister and I snug in "forest" shade,
heard Father, mad as a hornet, yelling.

Perring from our post on high, doom and despair
met our gaze.  Our milking goat had escaped her pen,
berries and green leaves staining and hanging
from her white countenance, eyes drunk
with the sweet taste of berry and vine, fairy fence
wrapped about her neck, trailing behind her 
as she dashed just ahead of Father's flailing arms.

It became an addiction, year after year,
Momma and babies successfully raided
the round oasis of sweetness, until my Father
waving a white flag of surrender,
planted grass seed instead.  Ever after,
every Sunday in June and into July,
roadside farmer's stand supplied us
with baskets of strawberries
(of which I secreted a few to the criminals
in the barnyard).

My first garden was graced with a few statues:
St. Francis, a little pig, a chicken... and goat,
and produced many delicious meals: beans,
lettuce, tomatoes.  But no strawberries.

by Margaret Bednar, January 12, 2021

This is linked with "Poets and Storytellers United -  Writers' Pantry #52 - Year's Beginning" and I resurrected the old post "#22 - It Takes a Bit of Discipline"  I changed the word "takes" to "took")  309 words