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Anna's Smile

By John I. Blair

Her hair pinned in a bun,
Anna Herring sits smiling
On a wooden kitchen chair
In front of a sod house
Outside Broken Bow, Nebraska.

Next to her, her husband, Walkup,
Rough bearded, hat in lap,
Stares stoically at the camera
As if thinking of the next corn crop,
The next locust swarm.

The young men in the picture,
Walkup’s brother (we believe)
And sons Lewis, Arthur,
Pose stiff, awkward,
The two boys on an
Old buggy seat,
Too low for comfort.

The girls, Lee and Grace,
Who wear clean smocks
And seem well-behaved,
Clearly would prefer
Doing something else,
Being somewhere else.

But Anna smiles, serene, proud,
Enthroned on her kitchen chair,
Looking straight at me.

©2005 John I. Blair  

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