On My Grandparents' Farm, Warren Township
John Minczeski

This is the poem where I’m ten, holding the B-25
I glued together from a balsa wood kit, pretend flying
Over the grass and bushes, banking around the milk house.

This is the reduction sauce of fog
Burning off. Maples and oaks reappear
On the horizon, the day all shade and sky,

Sugar in the mouth, sugar on the tongue. This
Is land of the free and home of my grandfather
Who works in town selling Studebakers at Freeman-Spicer.
This is the list of chores for the day: pick the sweet

Corn, snap the beans. A field planted in clover,
Heat shimmering above forty acres of wheat.
My brother totes a single-shot .22
To the woods where my grandfather hauls the garbage

Behind the green John Deere. The day covers us in dust.
My brother and I take turns, careful an ejected shell casing

Doesn’t arc down the back of my shirt. Here is
Where everything slows when a can jerks awake,
A jar shatters. My brother knows a little
About the conservation of matter and energy.

I’m too young to get the concept, but even I
Can see, while setting up the cans, the jars
And bottles on a log, how difficult
To drive a thing completely out of existence.

John Minczeski's latest collection, A Letter to Serafin, was published by The University of Akron Press in 2009. His work has appeared in Agni, Quarterly West, Pleiades, Cerise Press, and elsewhere. He teaches as a poet in the schools and does occasional college work. He lives in St. Paul.