~ In Memory of Pa’paw and Ma’maw Prunty ~


~ In Memory of Pa’paw and Ma’maw Prunty ~

Pa’paw held fast to the ‘old ways’ –
Hard work made a man
And he was only as good as his word
A hand shake sealed a deal

Ladies were made of porcelain
Subject to a crack or chip
Here and there
But, always the help mate
The genteel sex, but if hardy stock indeed

Sons were raised ‘neath the burning sun
The grey scale sky of winter
Work was endless – a farm couldn’t run itself
Shoeless in the thirties, sore feet often soaked
Tips of toes stinging from Ma’maw’s warm water care

When drink took him – Pa’paw that is
He’d sing of his ancestral land
Of lush green hills
And we all new Loch Lomamd by heart-
Sometimes the words distorted
Flip flopped, and the spoons were out of tune
But still he sang, and still, we listened

Grandchildren arrived and were to be seen
Not heard, unless spoken too
So we’d sit in rows – pretty patient rows
Awaiting to be addressed
A few of us nudging, elbow to elbow
Eager to be roaming the hills
The wide open fields, exploring

To sustains ones self through the wilds of winter
There was the turning of the sod
By the wooden plow, grub hoe
Great, great grand fathers tools sufficed
Rows upon rows of potatoes planted
Tomatoes, green beans on wood scrap tripods
Onions, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, peppers of all sorts
Natures store abundant, planted, growing
By the hands of family hell bent on survival

Ma’maw would sing amongst the growth
Rising before the sun scaled the open sky
She said her Irish diddies produced a beautiful, happy bounty
As she dipped ladles of water during the dry season
Her thirsty plants; you’d swear a gulping sound was heard
And you watched, and you learned ‘the old ways’
As dippers of sweetened cream the earth also consumed

Harvest time was a hard, happy time
Rows and rows of tomatoes cooked, canned
Cucumbers in stone jars – seven day pickles pickeling
And green beans, oh the green beans!
Hours upon hours of stringing, and Ma’maw singing
As though thanking the vast store; awaiting were bushels more!

The apples pilled, cored steaming in large fiery pots
Apple pies, apple sauce, apple butter, apple this, apple that
And the scent swept down the valley and everyone knew
Pa’paw and Ma’maw their children; grandchildren too
Would weather the wilds of winter by the helping hands, of family, united.

Though gone, their legacy happily lives on
Through the plowing and planting of spring
The tiresome days that harvest brings
As we catch ourselves singing sweetly
Those ancient songs, never to be forgotten
As our crops too flourish from sun and song.

O’Prunty
9/19/2014

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Filed under Family Poetry, Nature Poetry, Poetry, Prose Poetry, Uncategorized

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