Friday, May 22, 2015

Arra Lynn Ross: "Mother Ann Tells Lucy What Gave Her Joy"

A moment of understanding
     when the face lights up
          and even the trees seem to kneel.
The mossy ground
     below a huge willow
          by the side of the marsh.
Children who come
     with white faces
          and turn pink
               in the sun.

The sound of sawing in the woods
          and the long lone hum
               of a boat bearing lumber
                    down the Hudson.
The sudden deer in the trees,
          a streak of white tail
               and the hoof prints
                    filling with water.

The sound of voices
          rounding out with grace,
               with trust.
                    And rosehip tea steaming in the sun.
How many times we threw off our shoes
          and danced together,
               the cool ground under our soles.
                    And the mud! churned by feet, and horses,
                       ox-carts and cows.
          The open throats
               and closed eyes,
                    that red ringing
                         inside my heart.

And mornings that Lucy sang
     making breakfast,
          snatches of hymns
               stuck together.

The long, quiet time of waiting.

"Mother Ann Tells Lucy What Gave Her Joy" by Arra Lynn Ross, from Seedlip and Sweet Apple (Milkweed Editions, 2010). Text as posted on

Art credit: Untitled photograph by Zurijeta/Shutterstock.

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