Steve Stromme: Two Poems
Haying Time | Riding Time
I wish for my son
What I both loved and hated,
Summer days that run
In their theme, like haying time,
Every night a dreamless
Sleep, his wrists swelled taut
From tossing dew-soaked bales to
A farmer who caught
Them without ever
A word, then stacked them intent
As an obsessed bird
Building a delayed nest.
I wish him storm-shortened days
With no time for rest
As a chastened sun
Climbs down the cold back of a
Wall cloud, its curtain
Of black marbled white
With frayed veins that spit-crackle
In overt delight.
I want him to stand
Framed in a barn door with a
Day's pay in his hand
Transfixed by wild rain
And the things that his father
Could never explain.
It will not be pinned, this poem.
Each time I get one shoulder to the mat
it rolls over, or heaves me off,
or the period ends, and we break
only to go at it again in the center circle.
Coach Ego is not amused.
"Forget riding points!" he screams.
"Finish it offstick it, or we lose!"
But we've been wrestling for months,
and I am absolutely out of moves.
I wave off the circling Muse
and pull the poem to its feet.
Screw the coach.
Some poems just flat out
refuse to be pinned,
and this is one of them.
Steve Stromme lives in the country near Avon, Minnesota, with his wife and three sons. A high school English teacher, he enjoys teaching creative writing to young people desperately trying both to understand and to be understood. He has a Master's Degree in English from Saint Cloud State University, and is an avid hunter and reader. His poems have appeared in the North Stone Review, Modern Haiku, Upper Mississippi Review, and Sidewalks. He believes that poems are emissaries of reality, a gift Martin Heidegger argued as being offered to us continuously and deliberately.