Model "A" Ford-powered Pietenpol Air Camper
N444MH, built and flown by Howard Henderson,
patrols the Missouri River low and slow
near Creve Coeur, Missouri.
Photo by Grant MacLaren.

In that time . . .
by Grant MacLaren, 1989

I know how it was in that time
sixty years ago when roads seen
from above were little more than
two thin tracks through grass.

My mind has heard the noiseless roads
cutting unfenced fields, passing cherry groves,
skirting steepest hills and flat lakes,
making settled burgs where roads cross.

I know how it was in that time
when many-handed harvests,
sweet smells and back breaking work
were wrenched away without referendum.

Wrenched away by Ford's cast iron.
Wrenched away without option of staying
to enjoy the scale of day-long trips
on foot, in wagon or buggy.

Our innocent grandfathers too,
wrenched away, not unwillingly, from plowfields,
to be told by newspaper and newfangled radio
of the one-day Atlantic crossing.

I know how it was in that time.
I've seen it from three or five hundred feet;
the quick shadow and lake-mirrored
image of fabric covered wood and wire.

I've gently flown, pocketa, pocketa,
in that time; in a ship as much a product
of those shifting decades as of its tinkerer/
designer, builder, pilot, Pietenpol.

|| H O M E ||