By Montana Elder

When the sun grew large over the fields,

we plucked purple berries from their

vines. We shoved them to the backs of

our teeth and sucked the juice from our

fingertips; my grandmother stood by the

cow’s fence washing fresh tomatoes with

a garden hose. 


We stuck carrots through the holes in the

fence for the dirty brown workhorses to eat in

the field. In the driveway we wrestled with

the hoses that escaped and searched the walls

like vines, only to be swatted away by the tips

of fingers. Mom took pictures when we still

showed our teeth. 


I stuck my hands between purse zippers with soft- toothed

metal, played dress up with my mother’s old panty-hose,

and then panicked when my hasty inner child shoved

fingers through the nylon. I caught these moments and

filed them into the seams of my thoughts to keep them safe

from vines, so when the truth came out I only poked it

through the fence.


My grandfather’s room was grey like soot and fenced off in

the furthest corner of the hospital where his christmas wreath

hung on his door. My grandmother tried to kill the Ivy on

the outside of her house with clippers and then a power hose.

They all nodded because the doctors he had were the best in

the field and the nurse who did his IV’s had steady fingers.


On the way home from the hospital, they interlocked fingers

and slowed down as we drove through the trees and past the

fence. We watched the wind whip the corn stalks in the field

and felt the jaws of winter closing in around us with pointed

teeth. My grandmother put the tractors in the barn and balled

up the hoses, and when the first snow fell thick and fast it

covered up the vines. 


My father brought the christmas tree in, and the cold pine

needles hovered over the floor, pointing like worn out fingers

to my grandfather and his oxygen tank hose that circled the

bottoms of his chair like the bars of a fence meant to keep us

children thinking about the time we spent in the field.


Let There Be Posies                                                                 Generation Divide