Yarrow House

Oregon Mist

“Oregon mist,” my father said
of these gray mohair days.
“Missed Oregon, hit Washington.”
And he’d laugh and feed another cow

while I fed horses
and thought to myself,
“How silly.” But we both knew
the joke was worth a laugh.

The air, half water,
that we breathed, made us
as evergreen as boggy fields
and forest lots.

Sometimes he’d yodel
when the mood was on him,
though he said he hated farming
and would rather fish

than milk a cow,
or sow a field, or birth a calf.
They were fishermen,
his father’s people.

It was in his blood.
And there he was wet-landed,
raising cows and kids
and dipping jokes out of the air.

Also published in WA129, 2017