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Simple Things

February 28, 2008

“T’s a gift to be simple…” — Shaker hymn

Cows migrate toward a milking pail.
This is his clock, whispers of light
as he pulls on boots, heading out.

He opens the gate
where he once met his wife,
his voice separated by the gate
shutting out temptation.

It is the simple things
like touching a forbidden hand,
pulling fistfuls of milk into a wooden bucket.
These things any man can understand.

Anything else moves quickly
misunderstood
and mysterious as restless petticoats.

It is better to bend time
to the slowest of minutes.
It is simpler this way.

Let other people feel the barometer of the heart.
I want to tend to things
that are deliberate and slow as night
as my wife shakes laundry off the line.

Like how he felt
when he opened that gate
and she stepped though the first time
his hand tumbling into hers,
him crowing the morning.

by Martin Willitts, Jr.

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