Earlier in the year when I posted some our of research questions for HOMEbody, some brave folks answered the call in their own ways.
Jenner Shaffer, an artist, illustrator, writer, heirloom farm manager, among other titles, shared this with me (and his Facebook community) from his own sense of home in Michigan:
"Back road roam. Shed the vernal velvet for shining tines of autumn. A younger buck crops purple prairie clover. Along fence rows plump wild fruit wait for the taste of front. Shaggy bales in the pastures like along bison. The Valley of Monsters, Osage for the land of the Pomme & Sac flowing north. Land of backward, broken, upside-down things, puzzle pieces, Bootheel stomps & meteoric meltdown, storm tracks. Nothing stands long.
The lines of an Airstream a cozy bubble, arcing, flattened, belly-round, posing elements of a question mark. Where does this road go? Native, after a time, Spanish, French, American bushwhackers. Where is home? The commerce of eons, advance & retreat of seas & armies, dead hotspots of island arcs, plastic apologies for today's politic worms, roads that run into the reservoir. Aux-arcs, to the top, over the rainbow, word of a new lake winds that spiral in my ear. Here is now, & what do the persimmons say? Woolly bears are dark, cross the gravel in a hurry, someplace to be. Further on a box turtle is always at home.
Hedgeapples weigh on bowing branches, lost to every purpose but their own, the honey locust still on guard, gripping fossils in the hollows, browsers turned to stone. Asters white, asters purple, much endures in yellow as the barbed-wire winds. Milkweek pods crack open, a tuft of fluff for a wind to tease free.
The road was a loop, found my way back. Tomatoes sweet on a withered vine, volunteer. Save a few for dinner, toss the rest in the chicken run.
All pics by Jenner Shaffer.