Derry, New Hampshire, USA
Robert Frost Farm, 8/18/97

Who was she? Who was he? What were they doing at my farm? Slouching in my favorite writing chair, walking much too briskly down the trail to the pond, as if they'd seen it all before, draping their lanky frames across my wall and knocking a stone from the top. My wall! My farm! Yes, I know I've been dead for years, but the soul of a poet lives on, even one who is out of fashion. That you are somehow reading this is proof enough of that.


Baffling woman, baffling man. Both really. I could see gender madness in their eyes. Orlando was the name she gave. He gave no name at all. Thumbing through my books he was surely male. Laughing at my writing, she was surely a woman. Laugh at me! The poet of presidents.

I cared not for her or him. Like a cloud that one moment looks like a lion and the next like a charging bull, she/he shifted sexes each time I glanced away.

He chuckled when he read how my beloved farm had been turned into a junkyard for old cars. Rusting Fords and Desotos on the same soil where I once planted corn. She cried a bit when she heard the tale of how I returned to the farm with my wife's ashes, she had loved the place so, but the new owners cursed me and sent me away.

What did this Orlando person want from me?

When no one was looking she tore this scrap from a book in my library.


"Oh, I kept the first for another day!


Yet knowing how way leads on to way, "


Everyone knows that poem, surely not my best.


I was just glad when she finally left. Somehow I don't think she found what she was looking for. I don't think he did either.

When they left, he looked tense, eyes focused and hard.


She was sobbing softly and clutching that scrap of poetry.



I'll not see them again.