For HMS and Mabel
Almost Sabbath. In the tiled kitchen, soft hands
work the small sharp knife to split ripe fruit
into a bowl. She hums. She's the one in the family
who hums, doesn't sing open-mouthed,
at sundown worship when Grandpa's booming bass
carries the rest of our voices to taste the sweet vowels
of Day is Dying in the West! Heaven
is Touching Earth with Rest and when we reach
the intervals, arching higher with Holy, Ho-ly,
Ho-o-oly! we find the center
of a gathering deepness, cleansing shadow
of Sabbath embracing us altogether, and we link
hands in a circle of prayer. Grandpa prays last,
in the voice you hear from the pulpit, the radio,
voice spiraling into your ears to coil
around your heart and hold it, still
as God's voice, or grace. Later, the light
she left on over the sink will guide us
through the dark house, to the kitchen again,
to fruit salad, warm bread, and another kind
of grace that was also ours for the taking.
Written by Pat Cason, granddaughter of HMS Richards. This poem first appeared in the Winter 2000 edition of Spectrum, (Volume 28, Issue 1).
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