The 4th with a plague

backlight backlit countryside dusk

It’s 110 degrees
there’s a significant wind moving the leaves
of our sissoos and elms.
From the window outside looks inviting

I’m tired of being inside
tired of air conditioning and my couch
I want to feel some heat, some breeze
something

Watermelon
that’s what I want
I’ll go get a watermelon

“I’m going to the store for watermelon!” I shout to my husband
laying on the couch watching videos of mountain biking
“That’s all? Watermelon?” my husband questions the necessity of the trip
“I’ve got my mask. I’ll be quick”
and off I went.

I found myself wondering the isles, not being quick
watching people, some masked, others not.
Going to the store wasn’t like this last year
Melon and some popcorn, I check out
a Plexiglas shield between me and my masked cashier

“What are you doing for the 4th, honey?” she asked,
It struck me funny she called me honey
she could have been my daughter
“Just trying to stay safe, you know” I pointed to my mask
“Me too. I wish I could just stay home” she confessed
“I’m sorry dear. I pray you’ll stay safe.”
“Thanks! Happy 4th!”

I was tired of being inside
she just wanted to go home.

Home again I wash my hands
and the fruit
and cut into that idealistic melon.
Small red triangles dotted with black seeds
fill my bowl.
I’m satisfied
but I don’t want to stay inside.

It’s hot
so I walk to the nearest patch of shade in the yard
the stinging invisible rays burning enough
to make me a little uncomfortable.
I brought the rinds from the watermelon
to our goats and chickens
who I found hunkering down, panting in the shade of our aluminum corral

I set the green and red rinds down in their troughs and watched them
get up from their spots
They seemed to enjoy the cold, crunchy shell of the melon
pecking and chomping
refreshed

A neighbor down the alley has started up
the mariachi band that usually plays on Saturday nights
I listen for a bit
Mariachi always sounds like happy children playing in the yard to me
dancing and laughing and chasing each other

There will be no fireworks in town tonight
a young cashier will be calling strangers “honey” from behind Plexiglas
a Latino family down the alley will play mariachi
my friends will fight off panic in the hospital
a woman will grieve that Covid took her love
a daughter will weep that it took her mom
a stranger will call a nurses station hoping for good news
and when the sun to goes down
I’ll sit on the porch and watch the sky
change colors
and pray

subversive hope

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(image credit here)

 

If a kernel of wheat
falls,
dies
in the dirt,
you said,
it will grow.

Here we are
under the dirt
in the dark
soiled milieu
of their waste
and death.

Here we are
silent.
They build
roads
and sidewalks
concrete curbs
over us.

The weather
changes-
heat,
rain,
frozen days
and then
warmth again.

And here we are
starting to crack
shedding the shell
of our protection
loosing to all we lack.

But it’s still silent below.

Steps of boots
and heels
dropped phones
squealing wheels
horns blaring
curses out the window
asphalt covers where we
were silently sown.

Our stratification
raises a question-
Is there more
going on than
flattery, greed
oppression and boredom?

Everyone carries on
no one thinks to ask.
Like Dave said
they’re ants marching
busied by their tasks.

But below
here we are
pushing aside
dark earth
with pale
cellulose
no pride.

We grow despite
the lack of light
and germinate
somehow
someway
through concrete.

And when one
of them
passes by
and is drawn
by Providence’s eye
to look upon our
verdent head
pregnant with bloom
conquering our tomb,

they’ll bend down low
and stop marching
and see new life
amidst pride emerging
and they will know
in that moment
there is such a thing
as subversive hope.

The Older Woman

person in red coat sitting on gang chair
Photo by Martin Pu00e9chy on Pexels.com

You walked ahead
not knowing I was
thirty years behind.

I was nineteen
putting on a ring
promising till death.

You were forty-one
walking through the
valley of the shadow
ahead of me.

Three decades later
a block apart
our boundaries and times
cross providentially.

Silver hair ahead
of my fading blonde
bent over with tears
we cry together.

We bend holding
hand in wrinkled hand
breathing prayers
and petitions.

Kindred hearts
two souls bound by
the One who holds
our times in his hand.

Hannagan Meadow In My Ear

animal avian beak bird
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

warm sunlight
on my chest
cool high-altitude breeze
on my face

sun-kissed skin
cool touch from wind
songs of finch beckon
in my ear

rush of sound
wave of air
through Aspen
Spruce and Pine

wings a flutter
thousands of reps per second
green, blue shimmering wings
in my ear

inches from my face
she shows me her aviary body
royal in appearance
real life fairy

here on the porch
in my ear
by my face
spear for mouth

painted face shines
green and gold
and she’s gone
just a glimpse

her hum travels
behind her
caw of crow
bark of dog

caretakers awake now
moving their load to the lodge
humans aware
slow moving

long hair
find rest
in the fast
hum of air