I grew up in Maryland, bonded Appalachian, then moved west and stayed. I've worked in the building trades most of my life: carpenter, plumber, electrician. Also a writer all my life, a dozen books, mostly novels. I live with my high school sweetheart in the house we built in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California.
Buck and Red
Buck Jacobs is a big man,
gray hair, bad teeth.
He meets your eye and crushes your hand.
Awkward in talk. Fluid in walk. Wary.
He cuts firewood, brings it to your door
in tidy piles, half a cord.
Buck’s dog Red jumps down from the truck,
pads up to you with shaggy coat,
a rough beauty,
wags once or twice and then works his job
sniffing bushes, watching squirrels,
relaxed but you know he could summon
instant power if provoked.
A fine beast.
She showed how to greet
met by chance:
She explained with harmony
One must howl
She taught how
to bear pain:
to limp, to grin,
to not complain.
she knew best:
© 2018 Joe Cottonwood
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