Weekly photo challenge: Nostalgic

Farm fencing

Farm fencing

Odd that something so inconsequential and utilitarian as a fence can be the one thing that makes a farm in Maine take you back to Iowa. Most of the fences in New England are constructed of rocks, and I love them. The pockets of farm country in Maine are so far removed from the wide open farmland of the Midwest, but this simple fence made this countryside seem so familiar and nostalgic, because I remember climbing over and under them. But this one doesn’t have the one thing that I was most familiar with: barbed wire.



A look at Maine

I visited Maine on a quick overnight trip for work this past week. There wasn’t much blue sky while there, but we had a chance to visit the Olson farm, where Andrew Wyeth painted some of his most famous works, including “Christina’s World.” The imposing farmhouse still stands and Wyeth is buried there. Of course, we also enjoyed a lobster dinner while watching a lightning storm rip through the sky all around us. Here are some memories of the trip.

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On Hearing of an Old Boyfriend’s Death

For Don Short (1957-2008)

you were raking leaves
on the Maine coast.

And then you weren’t.

You stopped
to listen to traffic on the interstate,
children a few streets over.

North wind carried sharp sea tang –
still a surprise

after decades of decay-scented prairie.

This led you back
to the boy-man you once were:
assured, jock, flirt, tease.

You smiled that smile
and scraped the last pile of what was
into a black bag.

Rubbing aching arms,
you dropped
just short of the kitchen door
and the woman who shaped
meatballs for your supper.

You lay there,
searching for a wider sky.

But all you saw
was this dark tangle of trees –
something else you never got used to.

But what do I know?

No, in this last day’s shelter
you heard oaks and sugar maples
let go a great sigh
and shower you down

with golden leaves.


Like this line from the obit:

“Don always had a gift of gab. There wasn’t anyone he wouldn’t talk to, or have a kind word for.”