Virgil helped Alec build the garage,
in fact he built it block by block,
mixing his own mud, feet on the ground,
talking talking talking: might makes right
his favorite topic, a history of American
good and evil until he opened his pail
and found nothing for lunch. He ate
what Lorene prepared and praised
her food throughout the hour of leisure.
He talked with his mouth full and empty.
The weather and the company was good,
nothing evil on a true summer day.
Everyone in town came out to talk
with Alec in his new backyard garage
where he worked on cars while his boy
ditched, irrigated, hoed, and all else
the six and a half acres of Concord grapes
required between pruning and harvest.
The boy milked the cow and went to school,
came home and milked the cow and slept
after homework, reading library books,
and making up what lived only on paper.
Asparagus, cherries, apricots, pears,
peaches, apples, trees picked and fruit
in boxes set on trailers behind tractors,
and in between the potato warehouse.
Irene took him to the show, caressed him
in the dark as he slid one hand under
her summer dress, and when the movie
ended they fed on burgers and shakes
and in the car on top of the mountain
that was really only a Sunnyside hill
they stripped each other slowly in the dark
and let their bodies love one another.
Tomorrow, mass, and they came here
afterward and practiced loving again . . .
When they were alone, summer was
the time to walk naked under the moon.
(23 August 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander