Publisher’s note: We are delighted to present for you a poem Old Angus Goes A’Courtin’ a wonderful story by Nita Moore. We will publish weekly installments each Wednesday until complete. Today please enjoy part two …
Nita Moore enjoys writing poetry, historical fiction and (now that she’s a grandmother), children’s stories. Professionally, she is owner of Nita Moore Massage Therapy for more than 20 years. Originally from Horicon, daughter Don and Jeanez Miescke, she now lives in Fond du Lac.
Old Angus Goes A’Courtin’
© Nita Moore 2019
Grace Miller bent over the beans in the row
She tossed to a little girl holding a bowl.
The beans made a plinkety plunkety plop,
And the girl tried to count them as each of them dropped.
“One-zees and two-zees and three-zees and fours,”
And soon she cried, “Granna, can’t carry no more!”
“Then put the bowl down and I’ll teach you to pick,”
Said Grandmother Grace to the bright little miss.
With patience and care, it took no time at all
When two worked together, one short and one tall.
The bells of their skirts met the brims of their hats,
Which were veiled with a netting for skeeters and gnats.
The trouble with tropical weather like this
Is that sun and the bugs find you hard to resist,
And if you’re not careful to cover yourself,
You’ll get sunburned and leathery, itching with welts.
“I’m hot,” said the girl, and she tugged at her blouse.
“Well, it’s time for our ice cream, let’s go to the house.”
Gran tucked up her apron now brimming with beans,
And little miss clapped and sang out with glee —
“Ice cream! Ice cream! Hooray! I can’t wait!”
And just then a man approached the back gate.
“Hello!” called the man, “I’m looking for Grace.”
“I’m Grace,” replied Gran, who now studied his face.
He looked vaguely familiar, but then again not.
Around his jaw, now agape, was a blushing pale spot.
For a moment he stared at her, frankly abashed.
The scene he expected had clearly been dashed.
The woman addressing him spoke through a screen
Draped over a hat that was torn at the seams.
The gray hair beneath had come loose from the bun.
Clearly, feminine tidiness had come undone.
The fair skin of her neck appeared to be wet,
And the sides of her shirt had been darkened with sweat.
She clutched at an apron so loaded it sagged,
Like some weird trick-or-treater with a Halloween bag.
A breeze filled her skirt like a billowing sail,
While a mini-sized clone of her trudged up the hill.
“Sir? May I help you?” Grace asked him at last,
As the little girl, stumbling behind her, collapsed.
Just then the man blinked and recovered himself,
“Oh no, Ms. Grace, it’s you need the help!”
And without invitation, he swung open the gate
And scooped up the girl who had fainted away.
Her hat fell away when he lifted her up,
And for a terrible moment her whole body flopped.
“Oh, good Lord! Oh my dear! Let’s get her inside!”
Grace ran to the porch and flung the door wide.
On a pillowy couch the man set the girl down,
And Grace came with some water to bring her around.
The grave moment passed and her little eyes blinked.
“Granna?” she said, and her Granna said, “Drink.”
The man soaked a towel and laid it cool on her head.
Before long, she sat up, but her eyes filled with dread.
“Granna, I sorry, I dropped all my beans.
That’s bad. I bad. I get no ice cream.”
“Oh, my dear one,” said Gran, “you did nothing wrong!”
“We were out in the heat just a little too long.
“You worked very hard, and too hard, in fact.
I should have carried you all the way back!”
“No worries, now, gals,” said the man with a gleam,
“You get that ice cream, and I’ll round up those beans!”
Then he snatched the wet towel and was out the front door
And he left them to wonder who was doing their chores.
to be continued …