Heart

 

Bacon sizzled:

Finding its way to me

Was easy…

Peace, it settled deep and soft and warm in my heart as the rooster crowed

And sun spilled in —

Lilacs, heavy and purple, they drooped their heads outside the bedroom window and

Bees buzzed

Singing a song to me as the sun grew higher in the sky…

Coffee’s scent drifted through the little house

And Grandmother would pour me just a little

In the tin cup

With lots of cream

And a little sugar…

She’d make eggs and oatmeal and we’d sit in the yellow, plastic

Chairs and I didn’t think of anything else in the world

Just her and I

And me holding the little tin cup with more cream than coffee,

Tasting the bacon and wondering if she’d make carrot cookies, come afternoon

 

Then we’d head to the hen house,

Late morning

Reaching for eggs through warm straw —

A rooster would crow

He ran at me

Grandmother held up her broom and scared him off

 

The garden was wide and deep and green

The soil was rich and soft and brown;

She wore a bonnet

And an apron she made…

In another month or so there’d be new potatoes and peas

And the corn would be taller than me,

And raspberries grew wild

Next to asparagus, shooting up tall

And there was a lump in my throat because…then

I wouldn’t be here…

I wouldn’t be here in deep August when everything was harvest-ready,

And I wouldn’t be here to pick green beans or smell it bubbling up on the stove;

I wouldn’t be here when deep summer arrived and the days were a little less hot,

And the evenings were cool;

The late-evening chirp of crickets would soon melt away

 

Then…

Later,

After carrot cookies were made

My favorite person in the world

And I

Made noodles from scratch

As chicken boiled —

The little house was full of

Summer and life —

Outside, a thunderstorm threatened —

Sunset on fire, with

Brilliant orange and red and pink:

My heart overflowed and I saw the distant mountains,

Could smell the sweet rain coming

 

And I stepped onto the front porch

Setting my eyes on the sunset ablaze, while

God Himself

Enveloped me in sunset’s colors

Holding me in the sweet pulse

Of childhood…

My heart-beat,

Even today.

 

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