Final Gesture

Posted: October 28, 2011 in Poet; Writer; Author

Final Gesture

I was six

playing alone

on Granny’s farm

across rolling fields

stretching endlessly

into a North Carolina beyond.

I was picking daisies

and wild berries for jam preserve,

when I was struck

by a chestnut mound

ahead of me in a grassy curve.

I knew enough about stillness

not to have to be told death.

My grandparents’ plow horse,

Teddy, lay there, sprawled,

in morbid quiet beauty,

his bulk still warm and regal,

bugs buzzing over glazed brown eyes,

close to the earth he once so diligently plowed,

and now he eloquently surrendered, bowed ~

his final gesture.

I cried all the way home

skipping over creek beds,

dangerous stones,

falling in granny’s waiting

arms; granddaddy came

running too to hear my news.

As granny later wiped my tears,

she told me Teddy had been

their priceless draft horse for

twenty-two years.

Now it was time for him to

fertilize back the Earth he once

tendered with docile, loyal toil.

And, because I was only six,

believing grandma when she

said he went back into the Earth

to fertilize,

I went back to wait, to watch,

for him to grow back to us.

~ ~ ~

© Copyright 2011 ♥Susan Joyner-Stumpf

  1. Susan this poem is beautiful… it made me feel like a little girl back in North Carolina..

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