Raking

Written by: Judith Angell Meyer

The rake fans out with long slender fingers.
They’re springy, giving a bounce
as they dig in and jump up.

The handle is wood – I wear gloves
To prevent splinters and blisters.
They will not prevent the blisters.

Stroking,
Each one a lunge out and away;
Then a pull back.

Arms forward,
Shoulders back.

Arms forward,
Shoulders back.

Fingers loose,
Then tighten,

Over and over and over.

Tickles of sweat at my hat band.
The sun is hot.
The sweat cools.
Arms twitch,
Shoulders ache,
Back screams.

Forward and back.
Forward and back.

My mind slips away to somewhere else.
The time starts to slip – 
Ache forgotten – 
Lark singing – 

The house wren is back again this year
Letting the lark know he is here and wanting his share.

New spring leaves rustle,
in a God sent breeze to aid the sweat.

A cat looks at me
And settles in the shade
Wondering at my industry.

The slender fingers of the rake
Make trails in the dirt
weaving a carpet pattern between the grasses.

Ants are disturbed 
And bustle to repair the rude damage.

A toad was up rooted from his winter sleep.

Pounding — a flicker is working on the side of my house.

My aching shoulders bring me back to real time.
The piles are big.
I am Thirsty.
It must be time to join the cat.