APPALACHIAN HEAVEN

by Mike Peters

After my father died, I lived for a while with my maternal grandparents--the Colemans.  They taught me a lot there on the family farm.  Grandpa told me about Model-Ts and rumble seats. Grandma taught me the finer points of Rummy, Scrabble and  the crosswords.  I sure miss them.  I write the following in dedication:
I'm told that heaven's a wonderful place.

There must be a porch there where Grandpa sits
and sips hot coffee he has poured into a saucer.
Daybreak is his few minutes of quiet
before he rides a Ford tractor until nightfall.

There must be cane poles and "bobbers" bouncing in the creek
and children in rolled-up jeans wading in their quest for "crawdads."

There must be "hollers" and ridges there
and hounds to run them in quest for squirrels, rabbits and "coons."

There must be cows to milk and horses to ride.
There must be hogs and chickens
and barbed wire to scratch us when we run from the bull.

There must be services in a one-room church.
There must be lessons in a one-room school.
Don't you think it's appropriate that they share the same building?

There must be bees there.
The stings we get from being too close
when Uncle Bob robs them of their gold
is well worth the taste of honey dripping on a biscuit.

There must be the Sunday smell of fried chicken there
and gravy to smother the potatoes.
There must be corn bread and DON'T FORGET the pinto beans!

There must be a crank to turn
to make homemade ice cream.
There must be watermelon seeds to spit
in contest with Grandpa's chew.

There must be Mail Pouch barns there
and rain that falls on their tin roofs in the afternoons of summer.

There must be soft feather beds there covered with Grandma's quilts,
pieced together with comfort and warmth --
the exact ingredients they yield.

There must be the intermittent light of fireflies there.
Flashbulbs taking pictures of children and young lovers
who chase the "lightning bugs" across a meadow
in amazement and anticipation.

There must be an orchestra there
and a band leader able to blend the nocturnal sounds --
the constant of crickets with the solo of a whippoorwill.

The symphony ends with the rooster waking grandma.
Grandpa's alarm clock is sometimes a nudge
But more often the smell of bacon and coffee.

And the cycle starts again.

Thanks for listening and as my Grandma Coleman used to say, "Ya'll Come!"

Sincerely,

Mike Peters
npeters102@aol.com


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