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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Setting new posts in old ground


Always wondered how those old-timers set so many fenceposts.
Now I’m replacing an old hard wood post that’s done its time
with a new one, milled round and freshly treated.
It takes a long time to un-root the old stump
below where the cedar post finally rotted off,
Stubborn stobs of one-time branches anchoring it to the ground.
With a great heave and expelled breath that old-timer finally lets go.

When I set my new post it fits right in the old hole.
But after tamping all the dirt back in...
I wonder that it never fills the hole completely.


It is good to have an intern, young and earnest
even if a little out of place in sneakers and sideways cap.
I wonder what will happen with those low-belted pants
and grimace every time he leans over to dig.
I thought I was young, but he must think I’m old.
I allow that he’s got try, and I think he’s getting the hang of it now.
I turn him loose to replace a rotted-off old corner post.

The post is set, sturdy enough for now at least.
But the deadman is upside down and backwards...
Like an old-timer rolling over in his grave.

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