It’s soft May rain splattering
the sycamore leaves outside
my bedroom window; October fog
sneaking into the early-morning valley
before the sun comes up and roots it out.
It’s grandma’s quilt tucking me in, with a
homespun scent of lilac breezes and
sunshine from being dried outside. It’s
wildflowers blooming in kaleidoscopic
colors, phlox and trillium, forsythia and ferns,
coreopsis and pastoral fields of crops and
sun-ripened fruits as far as the eye can see.
It’s a mountain, where the trees are brushed
with so many shades of green you don’t see the
same shade twice, Oaks and maples,
sweet gums and elms rise to the very face of God,
where he favors their beauty with a bounty of
life — birds and creatures of every kind.
Once, wildcats, panthers, and bears roamed
these mountains, along with Indians and our
father’s fathers. Deer still drink from the streams
and rivers of our ancestors. We hold to a simple life
here: washday Mondays, backyard beehives,
a stout iron pot set over an outdoor fire where
grandma will make hominy. Family and friends
gather around the kitchen table eating country
cooking like it is fine cuisine. . ..Aunt Volena’s chili,
Mama’s rice pudding, and Grandma’s cathead biscuits
she’s baked every morning for as long as I can remember.
It’s good memories and bad, wars and storms, and Papaw’s
big hands building a fire in our little black stove
on a winter morning, him talking about
“them boys who are fighting right over yonder.”
It’s the spirits of all those departed, rising up,
guiding us back from wherever we roam.
Poem by Patricia Hope
Patricia Hope has won awards in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Tiny Seed, Voices On the Wind, The Avocet, Weekly Avocet, Liquid Imagination, American Diversity Report, Maypop, Plum Tree Tavern, Muscadine Lines, and Southern Writers, as well as Mature Living, The Writer, Blue Ridge Country, and many area newspapers and anthologies. Website: https://thetwohopes.wixsite.com/author-pat-hope