Clean rice, handstitch
make pies, roll jingles
patch jeans, shake dice
clean fish, roll cigarettes
read from The Farmer.
Braid rugs, mend nets, tell stories
write letters, bead, cut quilt squares
boil swamp tea, deliver their babies.
Darn socks, peel potatoes, drink coffee
shuffle cards, cut hair, can tomatoes
sift flour, bead, sing church songs.
Scrub socks, gossip.
Sing country songs
make tobacco ties
braid sweet grass
prepare their dead.
Prepare frosting
laugh
embroider
crack nuts
de-pill sweaters
wipe their tears.
Search penny jar for old coins
shell peas, cut birchbark patterns
thread matching buttons together.
Build fire, make soap, join their hands
knead bread, read seed catalogues, smoke
slice apples, squeeze colour into margarine.
Change diapers, shuck corn, soak beans
rock their children, boil water, crochet doilies
clean sunflower seeds, can dill pickles
Sharpen knives, eat, iron
dance together
nurse their babies
remember their dead.

Kimberley Blaeser