Two Heroes of Love

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Aloof all his life, an assistant
on his brother’s dairy farm
good on the tractor and with cows—
when he met Savannah she
was twice widowed, her youngest son,
61, three years his senior.
That first year neighbors whispered,
the way they rode together in the pickup,
the old lady, who looked like Gertrude Stein,
and the handsome, middle-aged gentleman,
spooning like teenagers:
a disturbance, a mild
displacement of the ideal—
some said peculiar, others, queer.
After a while, the strangeness wore off.
Why do I think of them now?
I hardly knew them,
their brief, unlikely marriage
in a trailer behind a water tank:
a black and white television,
a plug of tobacco, a dip of snuff,
and the adoration of the pick-up?
When she died I would see him
with that truck, bending
under the hood he’d waxed and buffed
to change the points and plugs,
loyal to the end, a Chevrolet man.