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A deer crosses our field of young soybeans just about 20 yards from where I sit drinking an evening cup of Maxwell House, watching what is left of the sunset and a hummingbird taking one last drink. He’s in no hurry nor am I in a hurry to see the day end. I realize the cicadas have gone to sleep or whatever cicadas do when they quiet down. I feel a nice peaceful wrap sliding around my shoulders, with a bit of a chill in the evening air. It is late May, and the weather is damp and cool, more so than we expect at this time of year. The evening birds sound louder than they do when the day life is busily competing for attention. A frog of some sort croaking just beneath the porch rail  where I sit startled me, and I giggled as he and another farther out took turns calling back and forth.

This is Memorial Day, and I have been mindful today of the sacrifices made by the many men and women, and their families, to promote peace and freedom in our country. Without them in our ever-changing history, it is doubtful that I would have the luxury of taking in this evening in such a way. Thank you so very, very much. My heart is prayerful for all who have and are now serving our country.

Since the weather reminds me of the cool rainy season we normally have in April, my mind turns to an April day several years ago when I was riding with my husband on one of his ventures for farm equipment. He likes the company and help with maps and such, and I like the time to write, or read, or work crossword puzzles; so many are the times we’ve struck out on excursions looking for some truck or piece of farm machinery he has found in a publication or online. Anyway, one day in particular stands out in memory because of the striking glow of redbud trees in the wooded countryside. I recall writing a silly little poem about the portrait of Spring. Nature is the most poem-triggering inspiration for me.

It is dark now, my coffee cup is empty and the birds have also gone to nest I suppose for I cannot hear anything but frogs and other night sounds whose names I don’t know. I am going inside to relinquish another day, and to look for that old poem.

Found it, fiddled around with it a bit, and here it is:

PORTRAIT OF SPRING

Redbuds, popping out in vibrant lilac splashes,

on quiet wooded, expectant canvases,

Soon to be joined by fancy whites and fresh new green

worked into the portrait of another Spring.

Redbuds, with humble unfrilled ease

pull the eye to the blur of late winter trees.

A glow at the edge of a dark rainy day –

They’re waiting for Dogwoods to come out and play.

Dogwood, a name for lacy young ladies in pink and white

who’ll come into their own over cool April nights.

Dogwoods, spreading their arms, hands joined in games

are allowed a short time for song and play

under thickening green mesh arbors of home

until they have leaves and shade of their own.

Redbuds and Dogwoods in unison sing,

“we’re the prettiest part in the picture of Spring”.

My mind with its business and day-to-day run,

stops in awe at what the Artist has done.

And as the years slip by with their speedy endeavor

I look forward to their portraits more eagerly than ever.     P.Ward

Suddenly I’m a girl of 9 or 10 years old again, joining hands in circle with the other girl scouts in my troop. I hear us singing, “Day is done, gone the sun, from the hills, from the (trees?) from the sky. All is well, safe at rest, God is nigh”.  I haven’t heard that song in way too long…Good night friends.

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