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Jean Cassidy      2012

The sky’s a wash of blackbirds against the clouds. The fussy geometry of a spider sways eye-level, inches from my face. On a hillside above the lake, the air nips cool, sweet. I’m immersed in grandma’s lap, rocking to the rhythm of the creaking glider.

Late afternoon sun closes in on crescent hills. Children and screen doors slowing to quiet now, (too quiet now). Her hand sweeps bangs from my sweaty forehead, along with swelter, over-too-soon.

Listen to Debbie Nordeen’s reading of the poems with instrumentalist accompanist- Lois J. Henrickson (Lytingale)


Lone shoe at the edge of the road, hundreds across America, waiting, listless, pointing away from things.

My grandma would say, ‘Someone needs to gather them up before the rain”. Then she would tell that person, “Hang on to whatever you gather because the rest will turn up: the world is full of pieces of things. Look at flea markets, this and that all over the place waiting to be found, and the universe, loaded with a zillion things floating around, looking for something.

There’s nothing to be done about it. Everything is searching, waiting at the edge, for the rest to turn up.

Photo: Here’s my grandmother, Rosanna May Winifred Docter. (November 5, 1877 – April 16, 1966)  She is front row left, with  five of her 14 siblings – Gus, Myrtle, Blanche, Julia and Emma


family, family history, history, midwest, wnc poetry, wnc writer


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