The Amish Boys on Sunday

Amish country.  January
afternoon.  Crackling crisp and clear.
Families in their winter buggies:
boxes, black, on wheels, each buggy
with a single easy-going horse
unperturbed by cars, trucks, traffic
lights, the smell of gasoline exhaust.
A two-lane highway, buggies
on their way to worship, or,
service over, coming home,
in no particular hurry, the very
Amish attitude toward progress.

Around a bend and up ahead,
three Amish boys are walking
toward me on the shoulder.
Two maybe twelve, the other ten,
all dressed in Sunday best:
black pants and coats, white shirts
and broad-brimmed flat black hats.
I’m driving slow, and as I pass,
all three doff their hats in unison
and bow like gallant cavaliers,
grinning like they’ve got a secret
wouldn’t I like to know.

– W.D. Ehrhart, The Haverford School, Faculty & Staff