Coloma, Wisconsin 1978
There is not much left to do today. This morning we were replacing fence posts.
Bob and I have pulled stumps all afternoon, he driving the tractor,
I tying off the thick chain around what’s left of the dead trees.
Right now I’m in the brush surrounding the house,
cutting some tall grass and collecting all the dead branches.
Bob says we’ll stack the bigger ones on the wood pile for burning in the winter.
There’s no more need for the tractor, so Bob takes it out on the road,
heading back to the barn, a half mile or so away.
I stop to take a smoke break, squatting under some low trees.
Mary Ruth comes outside and looks around at what we’ve accomplished.
She calls out to me: Lanning, you two have done a lot of work. It looks good,
but maybe you should come on out of there before you set the whole place on fire.
This possibility had not occurred to me. I emerge quickly from the brush,
a Hawai‘i boy spending an autumn weekend on a farm in Wisconsin.