STRAIGHT AND NARROW

there is much to admire in the unembellished line
when true

Squirrel, who would drive a crooked furrow
in a place where only the best horses
may be proud without sinning

has strayed much as a black bear past midnight
after the spring lambing

* * *

maybe he could have built a dairy herd
milked in a white-walled shed

given the right partner, who would not weep
over bank statements where the only green
would be choked with weeds

his life fenced in, a private Eden
stacked with moldy bales

to slip into rubber boots and shovel
his way back, behind him

* * *

but the scoutmaster was right
Squirrel’s not handy, that way

with wrenches or wiring
or even bent nails, much less

some ballgame or ice skates
no wonder the world was wide open

to the embroidery of his mind
when he had nothing to hold on to

these things shape one’s direction
as much as any opportunity

* * *

today’s American farmer
is a mechanic, electrician, carpenter,
accountant, designer before
the crops and herds matter

Poem copyright 2016 by Jnana Hodson
To see the full set of Home Maintenance poems,
click here.

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