Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bean Snapping

Standing barefoot in my kitchen
Snapping green beans at the sink
I feel the heart tug
of all the women before me
in my family who stood as I now stand.

A quick flick of
fingers and wrist
a small hill of strings and end hulls
build before me.
I recite quietly the names:
Pole Beans, Limas, Shellie,
Crowder Peas, Shucky, Navy,
Pinto and Peas.

I whisper the names:
Nettie Mae, Eloise, Idell,
Ma Sudie, Aunt Veen, Catherine,
Pearl, Carol Anne, Versie,

I see them in my mind,
strong hands, scarred and veined
by outdoor work.
Nails short and clean.
Worn gold bands tight as a pledge,
loose as a promise. 

Feet bare,
firmly planted on the linoleum,
worn wood, rag rug
In front of wash pan, sink,
bowls of water from the well
cistern or faucet.

In the background
the burner hisses
as beads of water
strike the glowing heat.
Sounds and smells stretching
through eons,
Endless summers
of gardens wealth. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A year goes by...

The time is fast approaching when it will be a year since my brother died.

Father's day just passed. Last year's Father's Day was the last time I saw my brother alive. He was so sick, looking so much like our father did in his last days of cancer. So many layers of emotions; love, sorrow, anger, despair, hope and acceptance~ an emotional tornado lodged in my heart.

It doesn't seem possible that a year has passed, 4 seasons come and gone. Holidays and Holy days blending together yet separate and distinct due to the huge void that my brother left behind.

Losing a sibling has affected me so differently than losing a parent. I always assumed because I was a late in life baby, that I would outlive my parents. Parents grow old and pass on. Siblings are supposed to be around forever.

Now I know that is not true. Now I look at my sister and brother and part of me is unsure and scared. What will I do when they go? Who else knows me as well as they know me? Who else has been through so much with me?

I try not to panic. I try to stay calm and stay in touch. But now there is a void, a broken link in the chain linking me to the past and the present.

I feel as though I am holding my breath, waiting for 'that day' to come and go. To see if I survive it, relive it or give in to it.

Within a week, I will know. Within a week, I may finally be able to let go of the anger of losing my brother too soon...