stood at the kitchen window
sipping yesterday's cold tea.
It mattered to him to live frugally.
Each day was precious and he wrote
the list of how to spend it
in his head: to stake the beans,
cut thistle and tansy in the far field,
call the butcher to get that old cow.
My father didn't much use
the word "love," too expensive
a sentiment. But as he stood in the barn loft
and tossed hay to his cattle
he thought of the pastor offering communion.
And if it is his body that is broken now
I recite his life under my breath,
savoring all of it, body and blood,
that lig in religion like that in ligament,
joining all of the parts together.