Hand in Hand – Fiction

Hand in Hand

by Sarah Wilkinson

Walking over the furrows,

Newly plowed
Our good rich land,
We walk close together,
I am, but a small child,
I try not to trip and fall.
He the older man,
Helps me through it all.

Working in the field,
My lungs are filled completely,
With the muskyness of the earth,
A bird singing sweetly . . .
No. Not a bird, a whipporwill,
He has taught me their names,
And today I know them still,
With careless disrespect
Sometimes I forget.

The plants, all the trees and flowers,
We walked our woods for hours,
He taught their names to only me,
Their uses and their history,
The secret cures for everything
Except time.
And soon they took me away
To where you learn the new names,
But nothing more
About what nature is for.

Some going deaf,
Some going blind,
Ever slipping,
Of the mind,
Rusty passage,
Cruel passing time,
In his eyes,
The light still shines.

Through the fields I wander now
Several weeks ago,
The ground broken from winter,
There was no longer any snow,
The good rich furrows,
Are now hardened grass clods,
That roughen the tired land,
That will someday soon,
Be house lots.

He cannot wander there now,
Over the woods and streams,
And I can only vicariously,
Suppliment his dreams.
In the despair of the land,
Once so fertile and rich,
I see reflected correlations,
Of our relationship.

Those who took me from his school,
To try and teach me so much,
Committed such a sin.
For they taught me to forget,
The way the sun strikes your face,
The way the rain feels wet,
The value of the good rich land,
And the strength held
In a Grandfather’s hand.

His eyes are now moist,
With passing years,
And hearing failing him,
He sinks into his chair.
To watch T.V.
Portait of despair.
Before he goes,
To where all must,
I promised him
In sacred trust,
That I’d take him by the hand.
I now years older,
And he the old man,
I’ll help him over the grass clods
Of the sad and lonely land.
We would walk together once again…