|"Barn Series: Pink Sky," Brenda Cirioni|
by Becca J.R. Lachman
p.s.—Corn’s shorter than usual this late into August.
p.s.—They’ve cut down the cedars along Nussbaum Rd.
Don’t know how many locals have missed that turn!
p.s.—We’re still refusing to get a stoplight.
p.s.—Your neighbor’s draft horses nearly drowned in quicksand.
Took six men and two tractors, but they’re fine.
p.s.—Your sister’s little ones sure are growing! How long
have you been married now?
p.s.—If only you could see the sun at dusk
turn the white barns pink. The best silent movie.
p.s.—Your parents got caught at the recycling center
(It was night, there were wine bottles.)
p.s.—Six couples at church celebrating their 50th’s. Now,
how long have you been married again?
p.s.—Remember how tar bubbles up on gravel roads? Well, we’re in the thick of it.
p.s.—That dead G.H owl in your daddy’s plum orchard?
It’s next in line at the taxidermist.
p.s.—What meats are you making for your company
at dinner? We just can’t get enough
of your Grandma Ruth’s ham balls!
p.s.— Thanks for the note last week. What do you mean
by “tofu” and “kefir”?
p.s.—They’ve changed 606 to 118 in the blue Mennonite hymnal.
There have been letters to the editor.
p.s.—The Gazette’s weekly headline: “Pig Causes Traffic Accident.”
p.s.—Your parents said ‘no’ to buying the farm.
(How long have you been married?)
p.s.—Hoods burned down the railway bridge
and your Grandma butchered chickens
on the clothesline this morning.
p.s.—We’ve got lots of starts for you: coneflowers,
daffodils, creeping phlox. So you can
plant something there and it keeps coming back—
even if it’s in strange ground.
Becca J.R. Lachman grew up listening to U2 in Ohio's Amish country. A recovering creative writing degree collector, she's a grateful grad of the Otterbein, Ohio University, and Bennington College writing programs. Becca's published two poetry collections--Other Acreage (Gold Wake, 2015) and The Apple Speaks (Cascadia, 2012)--and won the 2004 Florence Kahn Memorial Award for her chapbook "Songs from the Springhouse." A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford (featuring Ted Kooser, Toi Derricotte, Robert Bly, Maxine Hong Kingston, and others) was her first major adventure in editing anthologies (Woodley:Washburn U, 2014). Becca’s recent work has received support from the Ohio Arts Council, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Art Gish Peacemaking Fund from the Appalachian Peace and Justice Network. She lives with her husband Michael in Athens, Ohio, where for over a decade she taught, tutored, and served as a writer/editor at Ohio U. She currently works for the Athens County public library system as its communications officer.
[Image above by Brenda Cirioni]