Ann B. Day, Featured, Poetry

Morning Delivery

by Ann. B. Day

In the four A.M. dusk
of a summer morning,
my sleep slides away
into sounds that sift into
our upstairs bedroom window:
tires turning on gravel
a truck’s muffled idle,
boots treading on wood planks
of back porch steps,
glass clinking glass.

A moment later,
more boot steps on wood,
scrunch of gravel,
soft closing of the truck door,
gears shift and fade
into the semi-dark.

I reach over to my husband,
Frank’s side of the bed,
find it empty, remembering
it was his turn to make
milk deliveries for the large farm
where he works.

I lie awake and breathe
into the stillness,
waiting for the first pale light
and the call of the hermit thrush
to rise through the window.

In time, I will go down
to the kitchen, open the screen door,
bring in the quart bottles of milk,
with thick cream rising to the top.
We will have cream with our oatmeal
when Frank comes home.

Ann B. Day, Contributors

Ann B. Day

Ann B. Day grew up in suburban Massachusetts, which was very rural in the early 1930s. Her love of writing started in the first grade and has continued into her 80s. She married Frank Day from a banker family in 1950. They bought a farm in the Mad River Valley, Vermont, had two children, raised sheep, horses, Highland cattle, and took in guests from all over the world. Many of her poems reflect this life on the farm. Over the years she continued writing nature columns and books, poetry journals, and was president of the Vermont Poetry Society. Ann moved from Vermont to Peterborough, New Hampshire in 2013 where she belongs to the Monadnock Writers’ Group and the Poetry Society of New Hampshire.

View Ann’s poetry and photography on New England Memories:

Ann B. Day, Poetry

Home Concert

by Ann B. Day

Rain:
flute drops
against the yellow leaves,
flat on twigs and trunks
of blackened trees.

Rain:
strings slide
down the silver panes,
beyond the puffs
of popular gold
on hills and wooded lanes.

Rain:
piano plays
a beating bass
upon still waters
of the pond,
where circles interlace.

The afternoon
of music
mingles rain
and sweet memories
of you.

 

Photograph by Ann B. Day

 

Ann B. Day, Photography

Signs of Fall

Photography by Ann B. Day

The signs of fall return each year as we look back at spring and summer and prepare for winter in New England. Ann B. Day shares some of these signs in her beautiful photographs—the frost on the rhododendron, the wood pile stacked in preparation for winter heating, and the changing color of the trees.

Frosted Rhododendron
Photograph by Ann B. Day

 

Stacked Wood
Photograph by Ann B. Day

 

Reflected Color
Photograph by Ann B. Day

 

Ann B. Day, Poetry

Winter Chores

by Ann B. Day

I trek to the barn
in the icy pre-light;
the frozen air stings
and pulls my skin tight.
Boots squeak on the snow
where footsteps have gone
into the sharpness
of a mid-winter dawn.

The cattle stand lined
in rigid regime,
their breath surrounds them
with frigid steam.
Frost etches the windows
and barnyard gate;
my kitchen stove smoke
rises thin and straight.

I fork hay to the cows
as the east shows a haze
where winter’s weak sun
begins with a glow.
Yet, in the dim light
and feeble rays,
the temperature stays
at twenty below.

 

 

Ann B. Day, Poetry

Road To Tinmouth

by Ann B. Day

On the back road through Danby Four Corners
I was shrouded in fog and damp muggies.
Leaves and grass were limp in the humid air.
Light rain spotted the windshield,
I didn’t close the windows.

I drove up the hill toward a farm:
white, paint-peeling house on right,
gray-boarded, tin-roofed barn on left.
I slowed as a tan, black-legged Jersey
sauntered across the blacktop.
I stopped, turned off the motor and waited.
She stopped—gazed—and waited,
in the middle of the road.

In a moment the rest of the resident herd
erupted from a dark opening
under the rusted, over-hanging roof.
Black, white, red-spotted, manure-rumped bovines
wandered down the road past my parked car,
their empty udders swinging with their lazy pace.

A wet, pink-pimpled muzzle
was thrust into my open window.
Another cow inspected the left rear tire;
others just stared,
until the rubber-booted farmer
quietly moved his herd down the road,
his face wrinkled with a perpetual smile.

Rain splatted on the pavement
as I began to roll up my window.
He looked my way and waved.
“Nice day,” he said.

 

 

Ann B. Day, Poetry

Remembering Mary

by Ann B. Day

Every day I drive by her barn-red farmhouse
where she had lived since the turn of the century.
No electricity; at night an oil lamp
glowed in her kitchen window.
Against the wall of her linoleum-floored kitchen
her water, piped from a spring,
ran a steady stream into an iron sink,
a friendly sound.

When I visited her,
I drew in the smell of wood smoke
from her Home Comfort cook stove,
steam from the iron kettle.
The back door opened to the woodshed
with its well-grooved chopping block
and the privy.

From her afghan-backed rocker
by the kitchen window,
Mary watched for neighbors
and the mailman who’d stop in
on his daily route to bring her
a letter or the weekly IGA flyer.
She greeted them all with an ever-present smile.

She didn’t go out often, but never missed
town meeting on the first Tuesday in March.
On her ninetieth birthday we drove her
to Warren’s Fourth of July parade
in our horse-pulled buggy.

Mary died the following year.

Today I notice an air conditioner in the window
where the oil lamp used to be.

 

Mary McLaughlin in Fayston,
Vermont (early 1980s)
Photograph by Ann B. Day