Surprised by Joy

The rolling hills
of Kentucky
wear crowns of
naked trees
empty branches like
bristly hair static
reach to the sky
and I
peer through them
see what is beyond.

She sits
at table
stares out window
chin in hand
dirty dishes
stacked by the sink
and thinks
about the day
the pie
is gone.

Hay bales rest
on flattened sides
and the sun
illuminates the white
bark of a wall
of sycamores
I am blinded
by beauty.

It was her hands
reached in
that dead carcass
and pulled out
guts and organs
trimmed fat
rubbed and seasoned
kneaded and rolled
her lips tasted
her arms…

Christmas songs
on the stereo
as we pass
and miles
of stark hillside
bleak, naked

The children are
all gone
the house
no more
just this
wiping and
of leftover feast.

Wild turkeys roost
on low-branched
and the sky
increasingly cloudy
the empty trees
speak quiet
to my heart
and then…
bright circles of
amidst the gangly
a bundle of balloons
tangled in tree top.

Do not
tell her
thank you,
this woman
who gives
this is how she says
I love you
as she dips
hands in soapy water
she smiles
and hums a little.

This family
that I married–
surprises me with joy.

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thanksgiving celebration


  1. says

    So many great images here. I felt the poignancy of your experience. I loved this…

    “and thinks
    about the day
    the pie
    is gone.”

    I suppose I am always thinking that, in one way or another…

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