Thursday, June 16, 2016


Eastman Johnson, "The Girl I Left Behind Me," ca. 1872

My grandma taught me how to size and
pluck a blade of grass, press my thumbs
together then pull it tight in the gap, and
blow. We’d whistle up the wind, whistle
a summer storm, whistle the daddy long-
legs that pulsed in the outhouse corners
to doze and then sleep. A green song, so
fine and tender, from a green part of life.
I haven’t played those pipes much lately—
the grass here’s too tough, coarse enough
to endure drought and flood, not as good
for a tune. But maybe, where I’m heading,
those old new songs will come out to play.
Spring green, pushing up towards a pearly
sky; seed and rhizome, bud and blade, girl
and grandma, making a grass whistle sing.

1 comment:

Dale said...

For soft grass, you're coming to the right place! Soft damp grass, though. It may affect the harmonics.