Three Poems — Antoni Ooto

The Steward

Like an actor running lines,
Wilson had stories. 

The first of us who left Vermont, he tells,
was the elder on foot who followed Indian trails
taking months to cross New York
then staked a claim, and walked back.

The first families
moved kin, livestock 
to this homestead,
right here, and worked it
for two hundred years.

Through winters, hardships,
storms and drought,
sickness and deaths,
we settled, farmed, built on…
and finally, a school.

Some gave up.
We did not.

Perhaps land accepts a steward.

Wilson at 93 remembers.

Fall Run Park, Shaler, Pennsylvania
©2021 Janette Schafer

Philosophy and Conviction

go out the window in warm weather;
the pain of misunderstanding,
the excuses, the predictions…


with the renewed force of spring,
strength surfaces,
and breathing in again,
we meet the recovering day

Apache Mare

Breathing clouds to the warming air,
in the faithful future of all her years;

proud and natural,
present as a boulder in the way of a path.

Chestnut flank pressed against a rising sun
this light, this field—all her own

there is no other place
                                   no other world.

Poems ©2021 Antoni Ooto
All rights reserved

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