by Anniel 9/30/16
Daddy was – violent would be the word-
So full of hurt. None of us was certain
He cared at all. And Mom, well she was quiet
As she seemed to hide behind a curtain
Of self-insulating silence.
Wild asparagus grew along the banks
Of ditches across the road from our small
Shack. We children were often sent to pick
The precious green stalks. We’d find them and call
To the others to share the news.
An orchard grew on a private estate
Where the caretaker had threatened to shoot
If he caught us there – the precise spot where
Grew the best of the asparagus loot.
So we picked in more barren spots.
One lean day Mom demanded that I pick,
Alone, stalks from the forbidden orchard,
Causing lungs to contract my thumping chest
As fright destroyed my spirit’s hard-won guard.
Loud crying failed to move my mom.
Daddy came in, I knew, to stop the noise,
And I braced myself for an angry whack.
But this time something different happened.
Daddy reached out and took the picking sack,
As he also reached for my hand.
I’ll go and pick with you, he softly said,
And he did. I felt no fear of wounding
Or orchard. No fear of bullet or death –
Only the love that in me was sounding
As together he and I picked.
I think when my now trusting hand met his,
And look to a time when all hurts are healed,
When silence is gone and hope blooms anew.
When all our hearts’ hard-won pickings are sealed
By the bonds we have forged here.
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