The Poem

by Judith A. Lawrence

Riding in a pick-up-truck,

the radio wailing

some "love-em-an-leave-em" country song,

my son-in-law,

the love of my daughter's life,

drawls in his naturally seductive "g" less voice

about the measure of a plank of wood

snug against the door frame

that frustrated his efforts all afternoon,

his voice in sync

with each clunk of the shifting engine

as I hold on to my seat

rounding a corner

suddenly landing upright again,

and it occurs to me why

she finds this man

so endearing,

staying her ground,

whereas my restless heart

always moved on.


There is something, isn't there,
about putting one foot

in front of the other,

keeping things simple,

lining up the precise point

of miter joint to insure

a solid foundation.


So this is why she loves him,

and each time forgives him,

the brawls,

the "drinkin',

the occasional "womin."


It's all instinctual with him,

why her mothering heart

returns him to her breast,

and why he seeks her

in the real moments of a marriage.


I sit back,


breathe in and exhale,

my body "swingin" in easy motion

to oncoming curves,

the trust lying bemused between us,

I open my hands and let go.


I am merely the observer,

the recorder of their journey.

It is what it is.


My lines are metered,

carefully measured,

word for word,

I am the poet.

They are the poem.