We own a little house on a hillside across from a pasture where cows graze and give birth.
I grew up in Loudonville, Ohio, which lies in a valley beneath rolling hills deposited by glaciers thousands of years ago. This picture is taken from the front yard. We bought the house in 1985 so that we could be close to family on the weekends. You can see the town cemetery beyond the trees in the foreground. One of the town's many church spires is visible in the center of the picture. The house my parents raised their seven children in is nearby.
Margins of any type are always rich with the potential of transitions. Our little hill-perching home looks over the town on one side. The view from the back is a fallow field where two old apple trees keep vigil. The following poem is a result of years of watching the seasons come and go from this little plot of land. It needs work and may not be salvageable, but there are a couple lines that I like and wish the entire poem had sustained them. Oh well.
My porch sits athwart at the crest of a hill
overlooking on one side a town down below.
The other side faces a spider-webbed field
where trees at the edge wear the sun’s early gild
after long nights that drag their heels as they go.
The doe and her fawn wait in the shade
down by a rill that cuts through the rocks
till they learn what decision this human has made
about facing the village or facing the glade
while they listen for apple-fall’s harvested thwocks.
In the graveyard the birds throw their song in the air,
below, from my vantage - above, from the dead’s,
who lie under parched urns needing the care
of a late August rain should some clouds drift there.
The crickets beside the old wooden shed
chant from a book of late summer knowledge
that I’ve yet to translate as I shake my head
at the wisdom offered from a wild rose hedge.
It’s wasted on me at the untamed edge,
and I turn to face church spires, instead.
Catherine S. Wilson