Widows’ Row

Widows’ Row, my father chuckled,
I live on Widows’ Row,
and he’d list on his remaining fingers
(those not severed by a buzz saw)
to the west Ida and Grace,
and to the east Doris, Myra, and Mae:

Agrarian husbands all who had bought the farm
leaving behind their widows
to pace the lookout of the ridge.

And now my father, too, has bought the farm,
leaving it in my hands,
and I find myself on another Widows’ Row,
Emilie and Sally to the west,
Carolyn, Mary Ellen, and Dorothy to the east,
while I jog along Waters End in darkness
not knowing whom I’m running for
or what I’m running from.

—Gary Jones, Sister Bay