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Dec 2019
A full century ago
Our mothers played church
Up on the hay-wagon.
They sang hymns
And took turns being preacher.
I can hear her telling me

And tonight one sister’s son
Will stand up tall and weave
A tapestry of notes
So beautiful ...
A heart, or two, or more
Will feel a touch
Much deeper than
Shining brass, the rustling of winter clothes, or applause

The other sister’s son, well...
He’ll shuffle to the porch,
Look up and turn his head
To see if he can hear
The long arc of a single note.
The silver cord,
Grandpap used to sing about.

And then he’ll cry.
Cause this is real.
It is no game.
A passing cloud, each song,
a bird, even bread.
Is held a little longer.
Clasped and pondered,
like a letter
Before it is sent away.

It took this long,
and this much loss and gain.
Things held tight and then let go.
Reluctantly
To learn
This life is good,
And why old men
Can cry so easily
Cousin Richard is giving a concert and I can hear him 600 miles away
John Van Dyke
Written by
John Van Dyke  70/M
(70/M)   
145
   G Alan Johnson
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