Sometimes she brings a brass band
of words, a big, bold, syncopated
4th of July parade, flags waving, proud,
or she will tiptoe into my head,
tickle my ear, then play hide-and-seek
with verbs, hold back a shy noun.
In spring, she waits at the gate,
helps with chores, hops on a horse,
weaves violets in its mane.
I inhale my morning coffee, in summer sun,
while she hums with each bird song, then
nibbles ripe mulberries from purple hands;
suddenly, she laughs deep, and pulls me
to my feet; together we skip, skimming tops
of wildflowers, sip honey with bees… Fly.
In fall she leads me to the creek, so we can float
little red leaf-boats for the fairies, study silent fish,
dance along with the current, catch a cool breeze.
When frost finger-paints windows, she brings a soft
comforter; we snuggle together with poetry books,
warm chocolate-chip cookies, and mugs of hot cider.
Often, she has to push me out of our nest, play
catch-me-if-you-can, startle me with a roll of thunder,
wake me with a snowflake’s soft touch,
but she always brings gifts wrapped in rainbows,
tied with dried grasses and one perfect blossom.
From Celebrating the Heartland (Jericho Productions, 2009).
Used with the author's permission.