notes on a tent trailer
by John Stiles
In the barn with the sun slanting through
bailer twine hanging down, like a noose,
nits, flies and moths fluttering, broken egg
shells, yolks on the ground like pancake,
puddles with oil, pin pricks of a rainbow.
The smell of cow manure, a white dog called
‘ghost’ nipping at the wheels of a big boat car.
Late to come with the mail, all the post in a bag
in the side door, taking all the routes, chugging
down a backwoods road.
Dad in a technicolour windbreaker
Three kids belted in back of a car, looking out
wondering if the tent trailer is hooked on the
back and the clasp and chain link is attached?
The mother in front turning around and asking
if all are fastened in and hoping the homemade
leg is tucked up inside the tent trailer and screwed in
not dropping onto the road, clanking down a highway,
as if a hammer might land as if dropped from a height?
Wondering if you left it there on a tenting site, thinking
it might be possible to drive back and have a look
It was always raining when you left the valley, when
you were down on the south shore it seemed so different,
bakeries, bait stores, with Mepps Black Fury and three prong
jig hooks, you
really did wonder how did people live