When Sam wakes up in the morning,
he stretches and scratches his belly.
walks out on the porch and looks around,
while he takes care of business.
A yawn or two, then lights the campstove
to make his coffee.
Digs out his clothes,
gets dressed and, rain or shine,
walks down to the barn.
Sam likes the early morning quiet,
says, "smoothes out the whole day.'
He gathers a bucket of corn for the chickens,
and another with fermented bran shorts for the hogs.
The long path through the woods
to the clearing in the back
has become a daily pilgrimage of peace.
Sometimes when there's a fog,
it's more than he can stand,
that's when he has to stop, look up,
and thank God for his life
and this place.
His animals thank God for him.
Cindy is Louise's little sister.
Red, curly hair, blue eyes, freckles
and wild as a forest fire.
Sam likes the way she lights up the room
when Louise brings her along.
Cindy knows the songs he plays on his guitar,
a lot of sixties rock 'n roll,
She says, "I was just born too late."
When Sam looks at the long turn of her leg
he thinks he was born too soon.
Best of all, Sam knows he can trust her
to not burn the place down
when he's gone for a few days.
Sam was leanin' back against the tree
in that old painted chair,
drinkin' coffee, breathin' deep
enjoyin' the crisp autumn air,
lookin' at the first hint of leaves
turnin' yellow and red.
Eyed the pile of scrap lumber
by the barn, wondered what kind of bird feeder
he could build for the winter
when Cindy slid up in her new Miata.
As the dust cleared, she jumped out,
red hair flyin,' smile flashin.'
Sam was afraid his eyeballs were gonna melt
lookin' at those sweet legs swingin' around like that.
She said, "Got somethin' for ya!"
When she bent over to get the box off the seat,
Sam forgot all about the leaves, sighed,
thought, sure am glad I lived this long.
Cindy straightened up, said,
"Got a kitty needs a home,"
opened the box and a piece of furred lightnin'
lept straight down his arm and up into that treehouse
so fast, Sam didn't even have a chance to say hello.
He looked at Cindy, looked up the tree
looked at Cindy's legs, her smile,
looked at that white cotton blouse
off her shoulders, said,
"I'll call him Flash.
Sam took a nap on the couch,
his book on the floor where it fell,
the tree swaying softly as a boat on the bay
the sounds of the forest and his little kingdom
drifting through his head,
a lazy fly buzzed near the ceiling,
Flash asleep on his chest.
A moth landed on his bottom lip
just as the kitten opened one eye.
Sam doesn't know which looks worse,
the long red scratches, or the bandaid
that just won't stick.
R Vol Lindsey