• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 04
Image by

Simpler Times

A rooster’s crow
cracks the dawn,
much too early for
a city brat like me,
used to a snooze
button, wanting five
more minutes of
sleep, then five more.
Here, a guest in a
place out of time,
swaddled like a baby
beneath a patchwork quilt
on a featherbed,
centuries from the Serta
waiting for me at home.

The air is delicious with
the aroma wafting from the
kitchen where “Ma”...
everyone calls her that…
makes her famous
oatmeal, not the kind
from a Quaker Oats box,
but from the fields outside
her window, where the
grain dances gently with
the prairie breeze.


Simpler Times

Her husband, his
hands weather-worn
and blistered from
harvesting crop at
God’s mercy, now
watches his woman
hover over a steamy
iron-cast pot stirring lovingly,
slowly, silkening the oats
for breakfast.

Outside soapy laundry
scrubbed against
a washboard, and
rinsed in well water
hangs on a frayed
clothesline, on a
sun-kissed day to dry.

Light bulbs with no
lampshades to adorn
the house, women and
men in handsewn clothes.
a sanctuary of a simpler time.


Simpler Times

A haven from emails and
iPhones, emoticons and
snapchats, a world without
tabloids and talk shows,
where foulness is bleeped
and fist fights are fodder
for idle minds.

This is a place where
no one air-kisses and a
community connects at
the core of a hidden culture,
untouched by modern invaders
like me, a reporter, who had come
to reveal the strange ways
of an alien people and leaves
as the guardian of secrets
of simpler times.