Rural Hearts

He had heard stories

Of people who had gone

To the city he saw at night

Gleaming in the distance,

But never got the urge to visit.

Most nights in the hammock

He would watch the stars,

And listen to the crickets

Change their tempo

As the temperature fell.

Dozing there until late,

When the chilly breeze

Drove him to his warm bed.

Then the roosters woke him

Early, that’s what he liked.

The bucket of water

Was heavy on his head,

He did not count them

To know just how many 

It took to fill the barrel.

The spring was fun,

Others were gathered

Waiting for their turn

To fill their vessels

On the wet hillside.

The youngsters played,

Some teens giggled

And whispered in groups,

He sat aside in the shade

Watching the dragonflies.

When the barrel was full

He headed to the woodland

To collect dry branches,

And revive the kitchens fire

For the next meal to be made.

There were many berries

Which he often enjoyed.

That grew wild along the way

Where the search for firewood

Brought him some evenings.

Before last summer break

When his cousin came to visit

And berated his simplicity

Saying it was backwards,

He enjoyed his intense living.

He endured the boasting

But never envied any of it

Not the factory made foods,

Machines or microwaves

To rob him of the processes.

It was a dreadful thought,

Swipe screens, or push buttons,

Or instant powder drink mixes,

And mechanisms to save time,

Then having nothing to do with it.

After the holidays had passed

And his cousin left for the city,

He considered him unfortunate 

To be so vested in laziness

And any foreign convenience.

That’s why he declined the offer

To visit his cousin in the city.

He had no interest in pining

After homes familiarity

With all his rural heart.

Ria 2016