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For HMS and Mabel


Almost Sabbath. In the tiled kitchen, soft hands

work the small sharp knife to split ripe fruit

into a bowl. She hums. She's the one in the family

who hums, doesn't sing open-mouthed,

at sundown worship when Grandpa's booming bass

carries the rest of our voices to taste the sweet vowels

of Day is Dying in the West! Heaven

is Touching Earth with Rest and when we reach

the intervals, arching higher with Holy, Ho-ly,

Ho-o-oly! we find the center

of a gathering deepness, cleansing shadow

of Sabbath embracing us altogether, and we link

hands in a circle of prayer. Grandpa prays last,

in the voice you hear from the pulpit, the radio,

voice spiraling into your ears to coil

around your heart and hold it, still

as God's voice, or grace. Later, the light

she left on over the sink will guide us

through the dark house, to the kitchen again,

to fruit salad, warm bread, and another kind

of grace that was also ours for the taking.


Written by Pat Cason, granddaughter of HMS Richards. This poem first appeared in the Winter 2000 edition of Spectrum, (Volume 28, Issue 1).



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