Harvest (I want to be home when the combine comes)

Photo Source: HERE.

The neighbor’s dog killed
our kitten.  He’s an old
speckled hunting hound
who hobbles painfully
through a large fenced yard.
Our kids feed him handfuls
of bone shaped biscuits
through the fence
and run back and forth
calling his name. 

The kitten, slender and spry,
climbed the fence, curious,
and the old dog found
youth coursing through his
veins.  It was quick, they said, 
she didn’t comprehend the threat, 
he acted on training and instinct. 

The daycare children who played
nearby watched it all go down.
Crying, they were hurried
inside, to where the classroom bunny
sat safe in its cage. 
We weren’t home at the time. 

Later, when I sat in the grass snacking
with my boys, the neighbor called me
over to break the news.  We stood there
on opposite sides talking for a long time, 
our conversation divided by the fence.
He was apologetic, I was trying to figure
out what to tell the kids. 
“I didn’t think he still had it
in him,” my elderly neighbor observed.

We talked, as usual, about the woman
who owned this house before us - 
born here and died here at the age of ninety-seven -
and about the neighbor's own twin brother, a monk
in his seventies still making plans to teach overseas. 

The cat was handed back
over the fence, stiff and oddly heavy
in a plastic bag.  I put her in a box,
then went to wait for the school bus
to crest the hill, delivering
my happy children back home to me. 


The farmer has started cutting down
the dried brown corn that shines golden
when the sun hits just right.  Any day now
the field across the street will be empty
again.  The harvest feels like an inevitable 
end, the cutting down of it all and already 
I feel a sense of anticipatory loss.

I want to be home when the combine comes,
to witness the transformation.  Then 
there will be the long wait of winter
before seeds are sown in the quiet earth
and green shoots break through again. 

This is our sweet Tiger who loved to curl up and nap in my Asparagus fern.

Linking with Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory.

1 comment:

  1. Kelly,
    Oh...so sorry about your loss; what an adorable kitty...praying comfort and for God to continue to give you hope...lovely poem....thanks for inspiring my most recent post http://soulstops.com/post/2014/09/23/Sometimes-trust-looks-like-holding-on3.aspx