|Chagrin River Review
Barbara Brooks -- Poetry
He is here again, his white van
and a butterscotch light for warnings.
He has come to see the heat pump. Yesterday
he came twice. Maybe he needed a part.
He kneels by the metal lungs
of the heat pump, doesn’t disturb
the wood thrush singing its E-OH-LAY. Or the wrens
ferrying insects to the nest in the dryer vent.
Lifting the panel, he kneels
in front, an altar of temperature.
I can’t see what he is doing,
spring leaves block my view.
He has removed the pump’s cover.
It is sitting in the drive. I didn’t see him
bring a new one, besides he is alone.
A new one is too heavy for one to carry.
It’s 2 pm, he is packing up. He gets out,
monkeys with the For Sale sign
at the end of the drive.
Puts it in his truck.
The house has been empty for a year,
its previous owners gone north.
On the deck, I listen, a yellow-throated warbler,
it will be leaving soon.
The Holsteins salt and pepper
spring-green grass. It’s the early
morning cud chewing, they rest
under the warming
as I drive
Drop by drop, the cows’ udders swell.
Milk bags sway between their legs.
Time to enter the milking shed. Each tag read,
logged into the record, the day’s production
Daily, a computer
Number 50 is dropping off,
probably due to age. An old milk cow
isn’t much good for anything
except dog food.
Barbara Brooks, author of “The Catbird Sang” chapbook, is a member of Poet Fools. She has had work accepted in The Oklahoma Review, Blue Lake Review, Granny Smith Magazine, and Third Wednesday, online at Southern Women’s Review, Poetry Quarterly among others. She is a retired physical therapist and lives in Hillsborough, N.C.