a time like this

after they carried things home
and pulled the corn wagon out
of the frozen ruts
they turned the cows into the pasture
and filled the oat bags for horses
then went to the house
where women were wringing out
bloody cloths
and emptying the rest down
the white porcelain sink
before someone said to make coffee
and see what the fridge had
then they rested on the front porch
and ate what they had
and watched the dog nurse her pups
until the sun caught in the tall thorn trees
and one by one they walked back through
Turley’s Woods to their own lighted windows
and talked/some late into the night
about how it was with them
and how long the funeral would take tomorrow
knowing they had done their best
and would again when they used the new shovels
to turn the hard Illinois ground
while a woman no one knew sang something
a man remembered from Germany
“it’s odd what a body would remember at a time like this”
Rev. Nobs said beans running down his white arm



About the author:

An actively published writer, Dr. Ledbetter’s poems, stories and articles have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. His two latest poetry collections are UNDERLYING PREMISES, Lewis Clark Press 2010 and OLD AND LOST RIVERS, Lost Horse Press, 2012. Among the topics he taught at the University are creative writing, modern poetry, the history of English poetry and philosophy of art. In 1970 Dr. Ledbetter founded Morning Glory, an award-winning literary magazine produced by CLU students, and served as adviser for 25 years.