The Home Place

by christine on March 26, 2018

The Home Place

Nothing captures the history of this farm, no

stump fences or tree lines to shape

a past life, a family home dismantled.

The squared logs were marked and sold,

 

the veranda and summer kitchen burned,

foundation stones and well bulldozed,

pines cut, lilacs and apple trees slashed.

Nothing marks the spot where the house

 

loomed, no rhubarb at the edge of the garden,

no rose bushes, silo or chicken houses,

not even the machine shed. Mother

gave birth to eight babies upstairs

 

over the kitchen. Great Grandma lived

and died in the parlour, the farm dog

howled and leapt at tractors rolling through the yard.

Cows freshened, chickens slain and plucked.

 

Father sweated under his straw hat in the fields

six days a week. Mother planted

a garden, taught us to harvest from the wild,

to preserve berries and crabapples.

 

A shard of pottery, a lump of molten glass,

broken bricks, charred roots—raked aside

in a sprawling corn field. Five generations,

two hundred years, ploughed under.

Take whatever you want, she says, as if

there is anything left.

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