Pea-Shelling Pantoum

Raindrops’ procession percussion on porch metal awning
matches the cadence of empty soldier-green hulls
striking the timpani-tight bottom of No. 2 washtub
as our wood swing and loose-jointed rockers keep time

to the empty cadence of soldier-green hulls,
my grandfather repeats his World War Two stories
as our old wood swing and loose-jointed rockers keep time
while cyclical tales and farm weather sing their duet.

Repeating his World War Two stories, my grandfather
unzipped another pod of emerald conchs
while cyclical tales and farm weather sang their duet
to the semi-automatic staccato of fresh peas hitting lap pans.

Another pod of emerald conchs unzipped,
and the rain and rocking, swinging stories slow
the staccato of fresh peas in lap pans semi-automatically –
Our containers fill with produce, refuse, rhythmic memories.

Swinging stories slow the rocking, rain
drops’ stopping silences everything else, quiet
containers full of rhythmic refuse, produce, memories
are taken for processing to their locations:

Kitchen, trash pile, corners of the mind where
timpani-tight No. 2 washtubs sit and wait
with matches, Mason jars, and empty pantries, echoing
raindrops’ procession percussion on metal porch awning.