A Hundred Years

Bittersweet homesick memory.

Did I know it would be gone so quickly?

Trees deep-rooted now. Just saplings we planted that damp, annoying, distant shoveling day.

The same creatures, born again and again in this same spot. Living here, in this field, on that mountain. Drinking from the same spring for a hundred years. It is me who came and went, saw and forgot.

The ground is still there. I wince with soft barefoot step on sharp stones, remembering the thump of hardened childhood feet over dirt and leaves and grass.

Hefting hay in hot sun, breathing deep the grass-mown smell reminded, like lilacs, only once a year. Dogs panting under apple trees.

Garden weeds much-resented, tear at fingernails. The easy ones are a relief.

Seeking carefully laid, hidden egg treasures. I knew all their hiding places.

Frozen fingers on old latches, mittens wet with chores, awaiting hot stove heat inside. Need more wood carried.

Face pressed to horse's mane, breathe deep again. The cat tells to me, stories of her itinerant day.

Beloved animals loved and lost... and loved and lost...

I keep all this here, in this spot, in my heart.

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