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

The Visit

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.

just right

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

One thought on “I must have done something right and Other Poems

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