Jack, In The Garden, Legless

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Poem

Submitted: March 24, 2018

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Submitted: March 24, 2018

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Jack, In The Garden, Legless

By A. Guinevere Kern

 

Jack, my co-worker in constant shiver

Had wooden legs, reduced body heat.

Love to tease, skewering pins all over deep

Turning his prosthesis porcupinus.

I drove to visit him after he quit.

The West Virginia mountains hulked

Around his sprawl like consulting surgeons, 

His wooden gams harmonious among pines.

He and I and the horseflies whuzzing

About our heads like atomic haloes, 

Trudged to his trailer. I heard

Squinch and grunch of gravel, footsteps

Out of synch. Saw a grid of hawks

Rowing, their amputated cries, our voices

Pick-pocketed by the wind. "Show you," he mouthed

"My garden." I bowed. I held his cane.

He unstrapped the legs, shoes attached, 

Pinned dungarees under stump knees, waded

Propelled by pectoral push, among

Green flames of lettuce, radish, potatoes.

Tenderly thumbing young shoots, he plucked bugs.

I felt a huge and rude invader

Trespassing a sanctum of small things growing.

They stammered to the surface like blurted secrets

Offerings from the deep, old, elemental

Forces coded in the soil, that I had lost

The knowledge of, if ever I had possessed it.

Jack, dirty-bottomed, grinning, once broken

By florescent office tedium, the handicapped stares

Now trowels, plows and plants, legless, in this ground

Which loves his touch, and hands him a bounty of

Regeneration in return. Master of Earth, he accessed

That which is innate, determined, vital and

Enduring, as untouchable as lightening,

Positive as pride: A secret burrow where he could grow

The discovery that he's as whole as any man.

 

~~Copyright November '97


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