- Orange flames deepen the black iron of the
- woodstove sitting squat in the middle of the kitchen
- A feeble spot of yellow breaks from a hanging light bulb
- adding no more sight than a guttering candle.
- The uneven wooden floor, held together by grayed walls,
- is blackened with a hundred or more years of women's feet
- beating into it food bits, blood and grease.
- Smells flare my nostrils ... soured cows' milk,
- store-bought flour ... the makings of biscuits, fatback simmers
- in a cast iron pot afloat with greens, burnt sugar blisters
- with ghosts of peach cobblers and fig preserves
- The window, a rectangle of soft morning,
- hangs flush above the wooden sink in which
- a large round enamel basin speckled with chips of use
- waits. Next to the sink a beacon, the water pump
- worn bright red, stands with raised letters
- spelling "Sears." The sink gives off mysteries
- of cold damp wood mottled with red earth
- raising buried fumes of its deep water source.
- The long sigh of the screen door opening and slapping shut
- followed by jingling of the metal hook latch
dancing til stilled against the door frame.
Noon, the glare of white hot sand scorches the verbena
- running zigzag across the swept yard.