Grains of Sand

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour…
William Blake


she thought and,
swift as her thought,
she wadded up the bit of paper and
shot it across the table at her brother.
“That’s enough,”
warned their mother,
even as her brother
was wadding up his napkin.


She turned the piece of wood over in her hands,
But no.
It really wasn’t good for anything
but burning.
As she threw it onto the pile,
she thought of the bonfire that she would make
some autumn evening.


She scrunched up the remnant in both hands,
for the trash.
But her hands,
paying no attention to her thoughts,
began to fold it.
she opened the old trunk,
already stuffed,
and added the remnant.
“As soon as I throw it away,
I will want it.
And it is so pretty.
Maybe someday it will be
a dress for a grandchild’s doll.”


She laughed,
“It’s almost 10:00 and we’re still in bed.
I like being retired.
We’re like teenagers.
Now what would teenagers be doing in bed together?”
Much love and laughter and tenderness later,
“People probably look at us and say,
‘Oh, too bad they met so late in life.
They will have so little time together.’
But I feel like our time is wide and deep,
now and enough.”


The thought came and slipped away.
A birthday party.
Where was her mother?
Someone asked her,
“Who was your best friend when you were a child?”
The form of the question confused her.
“My best friend is Ethel.”
Another question,
“Did Ethel live near you?”
she wondered at the form of the question,
“Ethel lives two doors down.”
Ah that thought again,
“I’m 92 today.”

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