April is Open by Jan Godown Annino


I’m so excited because today I have a guest poem by Jan Godown Annino, who can not only spin a verse, but is also an award-winning author and Florida Book Award gold medal winner for SHE SANG PROMISE, the story of one of my favorite Florida figures, Seminole Tribal Leader Betty Mae Jumper.

Jan is known as Bkseedstudio on twitter

and she invites you to explore her site:  Bookseedstudio

Jan and I, along with award-winning Tallahassee author Adrian Fogelin, will be co-hosting a kid-lit panel in a few weeks…details to come.

Thank you, Jan, for this very generous gift of poetry!

April is Open

In August I remembered August

cow wrangler

at the red barn farm across the road

young August among older August, older August

trussing calves, burning the animal dead, carrying blue ribbons home

A march of men, all august in August

on shining Sydney Road hill

shearing sheep

milking cows

later, “bringing in the sheaves”

Women worked big red barns

bustling back and back again

like spring bees in our forsythia

women in wind-whipped yellow kerchiefs

flap, flap flapping the breeze

kittens mewled

wanting crusted bowls of cream

cringing at open doors of the big red barn, size of a blimp

a world of work steps away from me

June, I remember most

Her smile as I slid up the rivulet lane

to the top of her hill

slogging in wet April to collect eggs, milk, butter

not a regular order but always open for business

the neighborly hand up from my playmate’s mother

Did you folks run out again?

We did, may we have some please?

my city mother, running a house in the sticks

without a way into the village

my father drove the ‘57 Chevy off to the town job

no borrowed farm truck can help

my mother still needed driving lessons

Our little red house perched

on the steep slippery Sydney hill

like an outbuilding of the muddy farm

where every day, every day, every day always

August and June milked

The cows folding legs down

in the moist May meadow

of our back yard

the livelihood of neighbors

my poetry lesson

How now brown cow?”

I never saw a purple cow

The cow’s in the corn”

She walks among the meadow grass

And eats the meadow flowers”


Borrowed poetry lines

my mother in a September song

her rhyme time about bovines

Deep in closet shadows

alligator purse and shoes

red peplum skirted suit

veiled velvet black hat

shadows of her Rockefeller Center office life

distant December days

Jan Godown Annino/2013

If you’d like to enter for the chance to win a signed copy of Counting Backwards, send your poem to lauralascarso(at)yahoo(dot)com during the month of April. You might see it posted here! The winner will be announced on May 1.

3 thoughts on “April is Open by Jan Godown Annino

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