The Kind of Sunshine Old Men Love

Soaking Up Sun (Tom Hennen)

Today there is the kind of sunshine old men love,
the kind of day when my grandfather would sit
on the south side of the wooden corncrib where
the sunlight warmed slowly all through the day
like a wood stove. One after another dry leaves
fell. No painful memories came. Everything was
lit by a halo of light. The cornstalks glinted bright
as pieces of glass. From the fields and cottonwood
came the damp smell of mushrooms, of
things going back to earth. I sat with my grand-
father then. Sheep came up to us as we sat there,
their oily wool so warm to my fingers, like a strange
and magic snow. My grandfather whittled sweet
smelling apple sticks just to get at the scent. His
thumb had a permanent groove in it where the
back of the knife blade rested. He let me listen to
the wind, the wild geese, the soft dialect of sheep,
while his own silence taught me every secret thing
he knew

from Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems


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