You live on
I’m sure –
We played “Mrs. Spider” and I loved your gentle
touch. Your arms and lap gave comfort.
Dad, you were always generous with hugs.
My teachers didn’t understand my solitude
or love of the earth –
They disdained my deep need for quiet.
At recess, I felt called by the quiet
to sit under trees. This solitude-
nurtured soul of mine, you understood. Gently
cradled by God and rocked by Mother Earth,
I knew I could rely on her hugs.
Unlike mom, she gave comfort.
Your ready smile and playful dances comforted
my anxious mind. You watched with quiet
admiration as I cultivated earth,
Just a small patch, in grandpa’s yard. Hugs
from you, after I’d carried the watering can, gently
balanced my time of solitude
Among rows of vegetables. Silence and solitude
opened my heart to hear God in moist earth
and to surrender you there, too, without comfort
from family. The emptiness inside met gentle
spaces outside, far from mom’s wailing. Quiet
seemed impossible but my soul felt your hug.
I tired of striving for good grades but felt hugged,
no trapped, by the obligation. So gently
I sneaked away from mom’s meals, being quiet
while jumping to Jane Fonda tapes, avoiding comfort
of spaghetti and meatballs. I needed solitude
in my room, wanted to join you in the earth.
Yet my heart was drawn to evenings with the earth.
Listening to cicadas and trying to hug
the warm breeze. I walked in solitude
but always with God Who I knew heard my quiet
prayers. Grandpa, grandma and dad comforted
me with their presence in Spirit and gentleness.
Dear loved ones, called quietly into the deep hug
of our earth: I miss your gentle
words of comfort. Help me hear them in solitude.