March Slice of Life No. 10.
Evening came and I had not written a slice. I wondered, what should I write? Blank. I only knew that it would be short.
I thought about today being the 9th day of March and my name being Nine. That idea lasted about nine seconds.
Then I thought about the time change this weekend. A couple years ago, in protest of Daylight Savings Time, I wrote an imitation of Green Eggs and Ham — “Change the Clock.” Have fun reading it if you have some time [pun intended]. But I do not want to write about time changes today.
Then I thought about this time of the year [there I go using that word “time” again] when weather seesaws between winter and spring. I remembered a poem written by a second grader a few years ago. It would be perfect. But I couldn’t find the poem.
As I was searching my files for the poem, I happened to open an old publication I had filed in a folder titled, of course, Old Publications. [That’s probably why I didn’t find the poem I was originally searching for.] Here’s the title page:
And since I was more in a distracted mood than a writing mood, I began thumbing through the 587-page digitized volume. I started at page 1. [The advertisements were fascinating. I will share some in another slice.] On page 60, I paused to skim the first paragraph of an article titled “That Farm.”
“Have you ever known the country in the spring? Not the season of the poet’s imagination, nor his country, but springtime on a working farm . . .”
The words “spring,” “poet’s imagination” and “springtime” grabbed my attention. The sentence continued for several magazine lines. In fact, that single sentence had more than 50 words. I read it twice. I found the images interesting. I reworked the prose to turn it into a poem.
Country Spring, 1913
Springtime in the country is not
the season of the poet’s imagination.
On a working farm, spring is
where the warblers are
Leghorn and Plymouth Rock hens
singing an egg chorus,
where the lowing herd is
producing milk at
eights cents a quart,
where the squeal of a pig is
the spring-song of a twenty-dollar bill,
where the soil, rich and black, is
turning off plows like chocolate,
four hundred acres in springtime.
© 2018 Alice Nine
The first eleven lines of my poem are from the first two sentences in the text.
Have you ever known the country in spring? Not the season of the poet’s imagination, nor his country, but springtime on a working farm where the warblers are Leghorn and Plymouth Rock hens singing an egg chorus; where the lowing herd is producing milk worth eight cents a quart; where the squeal of a pig is the spring-song of a $20 bill (barring cholera). Springtime where 400 acres of impoverished and abandoned land begin to respond to the application of theories you have cherished through a successful dry-goods career.
. . . that was the soil. The rich, black loam turned off the mould-boards of the plows like chocolate, and such crops as it produced!
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