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March 1 , 2007

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Riding Shanks Mare

We never worried about miles.
Two miles, four miles, any miles.
We rode shanks mare more times as not,
and along the way visited with the porch
rockers, the fence leaners, the hat wavers.
Brogans or bare feet told the season.

If we had to go, we just up and started out.
Sometimes we’d catch a ride with someone
goin our way, and if we was lucky we’d meet
them comin back, and they’d drop us at the mailbox.

If we wasn’t having a lucky day
we’d have to hold our pokes hard against our coat
so they didn’t blow off the bridge and into the river.
I always feared I’d slip on the ice,
slide right off that bridge.

Some days we didn’t have the toll,
then we had to go another way.
Daddy always said they ought to be horse whipped
for charging a body to walk a bridge.

Robert Kimsey

McCaysville, GA 30555


Grandfather’s Toys

The boy is nearly 90 now
Yet in his oft keen mind,
He recalls toy soldiers snatched away
Simply because he marched them hard
On a newly varnished floor.
He daily dreams of the hand-carved toys
He held so long ago,
Remembering the painted uniforms
With medals trimmed in gold.
He thinks of the soldiers constantly
And the happy times they shared.
A small boy’s heart he owns again
As Grandmother rocks near by.

Margi Russell


The Comeback

Remember the old wood cook stove,
That our mom used to prepare our meals on?
Remember the wood-burning fireplace
We gathered around when day’s work was done?

These things most of us thought were past,
But they seem to be returning once more,
Because most people find they can’t pay
Utility bills that have taken such a soar.

Before it all ends,
We may return to batteries again,
Burn kerosene lamps and candles,
Use barrels to catch the rain.

To do the washing and the canning
To keep clean and have food to eat.
The electricity may someday vanish
And we’ll return to yesterday’s retreat.

Maybell Criswell
South Point, OH




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