Fourth of July, 2014

003Dew-wet grass glitters ; the heat, too much for early summer,

has been vanquished this July morn. Orange daylilies nod in relief,

their bloom almost spent but still

a few curl their petals sunward for their one day of glory.

On the porch, a mop’s wood handle rests against the weathered gray rail.

Its head, a white t-shirt torn and stuffed through the metal springloaded clamp,

is stiff and dry, a reminder of yesterday’s labor.

Water splashes in a gray metal pail, goldfinches dart from feeder to feeder

and a lone cardinal calls from its oaken perch.

(Is it true what they say, I wonder,

That a cardinal is actually a visit from a loved one who has passed on?)

Cucumber vines clamber up a stretch of barn red snowfence;

dill, basil and garlic tinge the air with invitations to taste, to cook.

A cat sits patiently on a stump, waiting for a wary chipmunk to reappear,

while a kitten dodges beneath the green

that is everywhere overhanging walks and garden fences.

A shovel bites black earth; my husband, in his favorite blue overalls, gently tamps earth

around the roots of a young Japanese snowbell; he pulls a red bandana

from his pocket and wipes the dew of sweat from his brow.

There is no breeze, no ruffling of leaves against the brilliant blue sky; the flag hangs limp,

its stripes and stars blurred together.

Miles away, I hear, there is a hurricane bashing the islands of the Outer Banks,

flooding the roads and tearing at the trees and houses. It seems like a story,

impossible to believe its truth when peace reigns within my view.

I watch the kitten named Soldier, our boarder while our granddaughter

goes away to prepare for war, to become a soldier herself.

Peace is, after all, a transient thing;

even on this quiet morning in the country

the drumming of the woodpecker resounds

like shots from distant guns.



About grannysu

storyteller, writer, poet, gardener, countrywoman
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