The End
2001-08-03 23:12:58 (UTC)

old woman by a creek

In the summer of '69
I finished milking the cows
around 4:30 am. pitcher in hand
I skimmed cream from the top
of the tank and headed to the house.

A small figure in a buckboard
with a horse obviously
on it's last legs came up the drive,
as she drew closer, I stared in awe,
she was over a hundred years old,
having been born at the end
of the civil war.

She drew her wagon up to the house
and I watched as grandma and Ed
loaded basket after basket of dirty
clothes. With a hearty how do
and good day to you, she was off.

I ran inside and put the cream
in the fridge and grabbed
the berry basket and headed out
myself, in search of wild berries
for breakfast.

I picked half a basket full
when I remembered a patch I
had seen some other day, wild
blueberries bursting, sweet
and juicy, ready to pick.

As I came over a knoll I heard
the sweetest voice singing, I
peeked between two flowering
dogwoods and there she was,
the ancient old woman down
by the creek.

She was in the creek
up to her waist, washboard
in front of her, scrubbing
away at the mound of clothes
before her.

Amazed I sat and watched
as she sang and scrubbed,
rinsed and hung, load
after load of clothes. She
never took a break nor
did she slow down.

I watched until the sun
was over my head, realizing
that I had missed breakfast
and doing my chores, I ran
back as quick as I could
but not before leaving
the basket of berries.

The old woman returned
at supper time, with baskets
of freshly washed clothes
and a song on her lips, I
ran out to see this amazing

Ed and grandpa unloaded
the wagon while grandma
tried to pay the old woman,
she declined any payment
saying she had already
been paid by the Lord,
who sent her a basket
of wild berries to eat.

copyright 2001Linke