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Charlie Pratt and Marie Harris, the featured readers at Februarys Hoot, read their
highly crafted poems on life, loss and love to an enthralled crowd. During the open
mike, Pat Parnell added this love poem for her husband of fifty-six years:
the weight of the wood.
forward more than usual
quicksteps through the living room
for the woodstove,
black sneakers scuffing the carpet.
green jeans, washed out flannel shirt,
gray cardigan buttoned against the cold
the woodpile journey. His gray hair curls
the tonsure of his baldness.
needs a shave.
Peace plays on the stereo.
logs thump on the hearth.
stacks each one exactly,
it in its place in the iron log holder.
his third trip.
sleep warm tonight.
Love is in the eye of the beholder who follows her beloved through
an ancient ritual.
Monk-like he comes, tonsured, quietly laboring under the weight of the wood,
intent upon the simple human task of lugging and stacking. The stoop, the scuff, the
worn sneakers, faded clothes, and gray hair, tell us this is a journey hes been on
for a long time. The careful repetition where each log is stacked exactly
its place speaks to the service of love ministered by Bill. A sacred service
he performs for the two lovers who will sleep warm tonight.
Bill copyright 2004 by Pat Parnell of Stratham.
Pat is author of two collections of poetry: Snake Woman and Other
Explorations, Finding the Female in Divinity and Talking with Birches, Poems of
Family and Everyday Life. She and artist Brigitte Keller are working together
with the Voice and Vision project of the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program.
Note: Poems from The
Poetry Hoot should not exceed nineteen lines.
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