I do it shortly after sunrise,
after the first hard freeze,
each swath a shredding
of leaf and of blade and of frost,
each swath so green, so perfect
I pause time and again to look
down the row to inhale as well as
to see it, to take it all in.
And the sound of the mower: a red
Piper Cub against a blue sky,
circling. Which is why I do not hear my wife
at first when she calls me.
We sit on elm stumps drinking black coffee
from thick white porcelain cups
left from the days of her dead father’s
café. I remember the waitress
whose face, it was said, could sour
milk, how the regular customers
loved her. We hold the cups
with both hands, leaning our faces
into them. The morning
for a few moments with us
stands still. We are very happy.
– William Kloefkorn (1932-2011), Nebraska State Poet (1982-present)