For the old people:

Men in bolo ties singing “Oh Susannah”

Women with pocketbooks hanging from their forearms

Who made pie crust, and biscuits, without recipes

People who knew mules and horses as well as they knew cars

People who brought food out of the ground

And children out of their bodies, without a doctor standing by.

They were upright, unbowed,

Sometimes stern

But gentle as rain

They’re gone now.

In imagination I try to walk their paths

What were their thoughts? What did they see?

I wish I had asked more

I wish they were here to tell me

Long gone, the old people

The ones who knew.