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Poetry of 2006/07 by Donna Flood
Ode to Mrs. Donahoo


A rare history this, of Mrs. Donahoo,
A woman of metal, tried and true.
While others might bewail their poverty
She bought land at 10 an acre or three.
Her tall Texas stance stood her like a queen
While she used hoe to cultivate between
Rows of vegetables, corn and melons,
Worried she not of scare and felons.
All at once the she was 80 years or more,
But there she stood at her neighbor’s door,
A basket of peppers, potatoes, beets
A recipe too and the inexperienced had treats.
It was possible to see her silhouette
As she and old man made a bet
To fence the east 160 to make a bull pasture
Where their presence was made sure.
The land now was worth 10,000 and acre,
Still she paid the taxes, with money from somewhere.
Her shed was frequented by great semi-trucks’s chutes
Where conveyor belts fed boxes filled with no flukes.
Those of misshapes were tossed to a dump,
This is when a knock upon our door was a thump.
“You know we can’t sell those that are culls and all,
But if you go to the creek you will find them stacked tall.”
And then with a mischievous grin, in her truck she was off and gone
“Oh yes!” She turned to call over shoulder, “there’s melons by the pond.”
Mrs. Donahoo, a lanky white haired woman with skin like peaches;
Her gardening turned to farming great acres farther than arm reaches.
I often wondered about the mysteries, why and wherefores of things,
When I knew, she was bringing sacks of onions to farmer’s markets rings.
Her truck backed up to a certain booth along with so many others
While the whole of Dallas carried home food for their sons and mothers.
And even then, one morning as I drove the children to school,
I saw her on tractor, tines set on her machine’s cultivator,
So instead of one row with a hoe she was working nine or more.
One morning a quiet voice called on the phone,
"Today we are having Mrs. Donahoo’s funeral for us alone,
She went to sleep and died in the night,
There were no tears, no fight.
It was as she wanted it to be.
So even in the end she wanted us free
She wanted you there to be with the few
She considered a friend, old and new."
What Grace from above smiled down on me,
Brought me to this woman of sweet mystery to see?
No matter how hard the road or how long,
To a great number we must try to belong.


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