Slipping on my too-thin anklets
to wear with my fake brogans,
I find myself wondering
what socks my father wore
in winter,
how did he keep his feet warm?
He had a reputation then
for smelly feet,
though in the end
his feet held up,
youthful to the last

I find myself
wondering what my father did
in winter,
when the ground was frozen hard.
I don’t remember him
ever being about the house
except at night,
did he stay in the barn
sharpening plows,
or did they still sharpen plows then,
somehow I think not,

It’s sad to think
I know almost nothing
of what my father did.
He told me
little girls belonged
in the house with their mothers,
I believed him
and have been there
ever since.

I remember his truck,
full of harvested corn,
parked outside the kitchen,
and green wagons
bulging with cotton.
I remember plowing and planting
or talk there of
the way the names of dirt
filled dinner table conversation
gumbo and johnson grass
that marked the struggles
of their day

Winter is the most forgotten
my cousin Brenda came
and when she cried my father drove her home
in a blizzard
that was before she got
the blouses with slips
at the bottom
the play carrots and peas
I envied
she was the luckiest of all
an only child

No that was summer I suspect
before my brother was born
in Nov.
they left me there
saying they were buying
a bed for my dolls
a vicious lie
my cousin Brenda corrected
she made me color a certain way
I don’t remember ever returning
to her house.

Nor can I remember winter
except the snow cream
my mother made
freshly fallen
bowls of white
sweetened and rich with vanilla

the energy(smell) of gathering
the smell of crops in profusion
but I cannot remember winter.