My grandparents' Buick is wide,
on this newly minted asphalt as we visit
and Charles City,
grass grown up in the ruts of tree-lined drives.
Alongside the car, barn swallows
swoop and skim ditches
full of bursting cattails and milkweed pods,
everything gone to seed at last,
even the field on my grandfather's farm --
three decades now out of our hands,
out of the almanac in our blood.
The alfalfa stalks brush
the broad chest
of an Appaloosa mare. Along her flank,
my grandfather calls up the ghosts of his Clydesdale team:
Dot, Beauty, Byrd, and Spot.
Everything capable grazes beneath a fleet of clouds.
In the field's southwest corner
a granite boulder
shoulders the horizon
like a sack of feed, sun catching mica flints
in the rock's grain,
dazzling as any city skyline at dusk.