BANNER MOUNTAIN GIRL # 41

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Fireflies and Memories

When lightning bugs turn on their blinking lights
that signal sweaty, little hands to try
to catch them on the muggy, summer nights,
my memories slip in to make me cry.

I squeeze my eyelids tight to stop
the moisture forming there.

The fireflies take me back to childhood, free
as hummingbirds that sipped pink four o’clocks,
and apple blossoms from the twisted tree
that Mama planted deep beside the rocks.

As whippoorwills called to each other
and June bugs buzzed by the lilacs,

my mama, dad, and all the children sat
on edge of porch to watch the daylight fade.
We laughed and played. What fun it was to chat,
with voices joining evening serenade,

and splash our feet with cold water
from an old enamel pan!

My tears are falling freely now in spurts.
That last reflection is the one that hurts.

© Copyright, Freeda Baker Nichols

Baker Family (Scan0040)-2

Freeda, Bill, Yvonne, Walter, Sephrona, Dean, Emma Jean, Aaron and Merle

 

To Move the Mountains

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      To Move the Mountains

The mountain peaks are much too steep to climb
no matter how I move my anxious feet,
when melodies of life have lost their rhyme,
and darkest silence offers no retreat.
In ragged clothes that I am forced to claim,
I step unsure upon life’s numbered page,
a target far off course of youthful aim —
to walk with kings was then my pompous rage.
Yet when I look to hills beyond each peak
where One has promised when I walk in tune
with Him, I will find needed rest I seek,
like ospreys sleeping near soft, sandy dune.
Though paupers weep and kings will sometimes cry,
with God, tall mountains do not seem too high.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

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The Family at Evening

At twilight, the fireflies
light their lanterns,
one at a time.

Jumping from porch,
Jimmy runs,
fruit jar in hand,
grabs lighting bugs
while whippoorwills
repeat themselves,
like Grandma.

Lindy brings Ole Jerse
from the pasture at
Weaver Creek. “Nearly stepped
on a copperhead,” she says.

“They crawl this time
of day,” Daddy warns.

He tells Mama
his check didn’t come.
She nods.  “Candy took her
first step today.”

Daddy reaches for
Candy’s hand.  Mama looks
at the sky.  Dark clouds
boil in the northwest.
Much like when the
tornado hit Banner Mountain.

c Copyright, 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols

Awarded Fifth Place in Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas’
Annual Anthology Contest, 2005