visiting the farm

My great-aunt, she owned a farm. One day when I was small, we went to visit her there. It was a long drive out of our hills and all the way over to her hills, and we got lost in a storm. I sat in the back of the car with my younger brother and told him stories about the sky-people so he wouldn't be scared of the thunder.

Funny, years later it was I who was scared in storms, and he who would comfort me. Funny, the way people go inside out, outside in, throughout their lives, as if existence is all just a kind of breathing.

When we finally got to the farm, my great-aunt made us soup and bread in her old farmhouse kitchen. You might not know about kitchens like that, not if you don't live here. Your farmhouses are between the earth and the air. Ours are sodden right through. They are overgrown with dirt memories and dark cloud dreams. Or they used to be. Now its all brick and glass - it worries me. When houses no longer have a connection to the land they sit in, it worries me. But anyway, we had our soup and bread, and we visited the cows, saw them being milked - by hand, in the drizzling rain, into a tin bucket, that's how long ago this was. Then we went home.

That's pretty much all I remember about that. Rain, thunder, bread, soup, cows. A hill house. The muddy grass under my feet and the long, rambling line of the wood-and-wire fences that disappeared into the vagueness of childhood understanding. And I remember it was the four of us, and the wonderful sense of belonging I felt.

Such a long time ago now.


  1. But you must have done a good job of comforting your brother, that he was able to be strong later and comfort you.

  2. Your posts are prose poems the reader can climb into and pull around them. Thank you for this one.