My Splendid Catch

for C.D.

is not the size of a hand
but is the size of shards flung in natural patterns
left by ear-ache winds
through photographs of my farming ancestors.

From the cardboard box I pull
the white edged photograph of
my grandmother,
surprisingly having not always been a grandmother,
she is sitting in a field
not far from the farmhouse kitchen I am currently standing in.

Her rich, black hair is caught in motion –
free of pins or bonnet.
Her dress is flipping itself upward,
her smile, cutting through the drift of smoke
produced by the rolled cigarette
in her familiar hand.

From the same box,
jumping back a generation before,
I find a booklet, hand-made.
My great-grandmother’s notes on her preferences
for the farm-hood boys who have given her
their pictures.

My dad leans in to say,
she was once a real heart-breaker.
My great-grandfather has a cameo in the booklet
a white heart is drawn around his head.
I hear her, in the dry and edgy tone her
unsmiling farm life had crafted, say,
“he’ll have to do.”