e i g h t y-s i x, h e s t a n d s
in his garden and tells
of the journey from Ohio that never ended,
not even with the case of sun-ripe peaches.
"The Lord sure has blessed me. Oh, yes.
See how the apricots grow, and the pears,
and the oranges? And these now, the farmers
hate them, but I don't, I water them;
the Spaniards, when they landed, looked for a sign
and the loaves and the fish of our Lord
were seen in the flowers of the vine."
He walks in the shade of the live oaks,
talks of Kentucky, of boyhood and manhood,
Of the girl that he married, who fell
years later, and broke something inside,
and the child they had found, and the land,
and the tall pines he tended, that stand
where the wind-driven lake once rippled
and broke on the crystalline sand.