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My wife framed a poster decades ago,

Take time ”picture of a daddy holding a kid.

So Imade time for them at baseball games,

before survival training and Saigon.

Down on both knees, I taught our babies

tickle and horsey rides, caught all three kids

with the same oiled catcher’s mitt,

then waved them away on planes. Berries and beans

sustain us, now that our children have gone”

and okra so slick why bother to chew,

just swallow. There’s work in digging our own

potatoes”never mind the worms, dirt

under the nails. It’s grace, no matter how high

the water bill, how many bushels we reap.

All that crawling around between rows

takes time, squatting like ducks hunting for bugs,

turning flab into muscle, to tighter skin

and bone. Years ago, each child turned back

and waved”memories we keep like nights

in Montana, blessings no one could earn,

like potatoes, berries, and beans.

”Walt McDonald


When this boy Jesus was five years old,

he went down to a ford of the brook.

Apocryphal Infancy Gospel of

The small boy knelt beside the water,

Sculpting birds of earth

Which flew off when he told them to scatter.

And if that’s not the truth,

Then why is the square so full of sparrows,

Living on puddles and crusts;

Singing small praises as daylight narrows,

Cleansed in summer’s dust?

Out of spring’s infinity

Birds and children start.

Yet with a word this child conferred

A span of life to art.

”John Jackson