She tends the red geraniums.
When their clustered eyes go dark,
she cuts them from their stems.
With her thumb she strokes the
furry leaves, not like common cloth
but the nap and shift of velvet
falling heavy over her hips,
the long slow dance
of Paris, in France.
The swoony glide of his knife
Not the bread it takes her
all day to bake,
the coarse knead and punch,
but the rise,
the pale cheek of flour,
the dip and shimmer of the heat,
the arched backs of the hills
in their arms of sky.
Lola Haskins is a director of From the Fishouse. She is the author of eight collections of poetry. Farm Wife is from Hunger (University of Iowa Press, 1993).
Poem, copyright © Lola Haskins, 1993
Appearing on the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2005, From the Fishouse