Filing Taxes – by Art Davis

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Filing Taxes

a poem
by Art Davis


Only vaguely knowing what is inside, I pick up the large manila envelope.
On the front printed in large black Sharpie-drawn letters
Are our names, address, and phone number.
It somehow reminds me of elementary school.


Taxes and the business of running the house are my wife’s domain.
She is very good with money. I am not.
I am barely more than a delivery boy.
I do, however, love everything about this annual trip out west into the country to our CPA’s home office.


In the driveway, my old pickup waits.
It is an impractical vehicle, older than is convenient.
Repairs are problematic, yet I love the way it feels to drive.
I love the way it feels to sit in the driver’s seat.


Somehow it connects me to a past that I didn’t live but wish I did.


Backing out of the driveway, gravel crunches as I am careful not to hit our mailbox.
Me and my truck head to RR12 and then HWY290 pointed west and out of town.
The town quickly evaporates from the roadside
Giving way to expansive meadows of green, yellow, purple, blue, and white.


Remembering to pay attention I hang a right on the correct road.
Many times, I miss the turn and travel quite a way down the highway
Before realizing my mistake.
Not this time.


The country road winds and twists undulating up and down rolling hills.
Old stone houses slide by from time to time.
My favorite is an old field-stone farmhouse
With a tumble-down barn and a rock cistern showing its age from a time long past.


A past I feel connected to from dreams and imaginings.


My pickup rattles across a cattle guard.
A brown cow looks up from the grass.
A large brown eye follows as I pass,
Then she bows her head and continues with more important matters.


Turning in the driveway of my CPA’s house and office,
I marvel at the push mowers, riding mowers, and other lawn equipment
Scattered like yard art in front and behind the out-building office.
I assume the unidentified pieces of metal are lawn equipment.


If truth be known, I know nothing of what most of it might be used for.
Might be farm equipment.
It might be something else.
I know less about that than I do about lawn equipment.


I rarely see my CPA.
We communicate and exchange documents
Using an old drop box with a slot to drop folders in
And a large reassuring padlock.


Leaving the truck running
I climb out and drop the manila envelope
Into the slot and it hits the bottom
With a satisfying thump.


Back in my truck I retrace my path
Passing the brown cow, the stone house,
The cistern, the multi-colored meadow.
Pulling into the driveway the tires crunch through the gravel.


Another annual delivery complete.
The engine is switched off.
I sit in the silence in
My old truck


Thinking of the past that never was mine but mine none the less.


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