Patching Fence in Mid-March

Patching Fence in Mid-March

– (For R.B.)

by Nicky Yurcaba

“Good fences make good neighbors,” wrote Frost in “Mending Wall”,

but what did Frost know about patching fence in mid-March?

Did he ever step into sturdy leather boots, and fulfill the role of the farmer,

or the farmer’s hired hand?

We were the two who threaded through greening woods, in sturdy leather boots,

uncoiling barbed wire from fence stake to fence stake, standing tree to standing tree,

the barbs biting into grain cowhide gloves, and reverently knelt to pound silver staples

through a wide-girth tree’s aged bark; we patched and built good fence

in mid-March sunshine, as the cattle called from a far-off field where newborn calves

hid beside their mothers who stood tall and firm in emerging Spring…


-refers from the photo Fence by Christopher Allen

  1. Nicky and Chris, this is a terrific collaboration of word/sound/image (it reads aloud really well). Poem is gorgeous and succeeds in the way that most nature poems only aspire to. The photo is powerfully beautiful like lightning.

  2. I will have to make a special note that Nicky referred from Chris’ photo, which is part of the fun of Referential, but it doesn’t mean they collaborated on that directly. Always want to make sure people know that in case they don’t want the implied collaboration!

  3. Nicky, you’ve captured a moment, a day, a life. Well chosen words to describe what Wordsworth wanted us to to see, the extraordinary in the ordinary. You are such a Romantic (two centuries late 🙂 ).

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