when I was a shy child with red-rimmed eyes   my sisters and I


didn’t know that some families talked   laughed   kissed goodbye


that kindred and friends visited & whispered secrets   played cards


that some families invited others to have a beer in the backyard


or share company dinner with chicken   mashed potatoes buttered rolls


I did know that one summer   elderly neighbors   kindly souls


invited all three of us girls for ice cream   the drum-beat summer heat


had retreated and we sat at their wooden picnic table for our treat


they talked   made us laugh   the ice cream was strawberry   rampant with bright pink


fruit   icy paradise in my mouth   too soon darkness began to sink


like a sheer curtain over the neighborhood yards   lights   


came on in windows   children   dogs   were called inside  


we skipped home   stuffed satisfied   with new awareness  


happy as princesses   the first stars shining down on us                     











A Nobody (thank you Emily Dickinson)


I Hold your Hand Love