My uncle, David Dice, an Indiana farmer died last week. He was buried (so my cousin tells me) in his bib overalls. I wrote this poem as a tribute to him:
There I am in June,
sitting behind the wheel
of a big red tractor
in a field of corn.
My uncle guides my hands.
The black clods of dirt
turn against the Firestone tires
grinding into fine mounds of soil.
Later in the season,
my uncle will bring in the harvest.
He will drive his truck
with bushels of sweet ears
to my Grandparents' Illinois farm.
Grandmother will shuck and boil.
Aunts, uncles, cousins will gather in the sweet grass
and suck the lathered cobs,
golden butter streaming down our cheeks.
Strawberries picked that morning
will blend in the ice cream
my grandad cranks to the rhythm of his heartbeat.
Dessert seals the meal
as fireflies dance
against a dusky September sky.