I could be in Belhaven
singing hymns, gathering brown eggs
and looking collard greens.

I could be spoiling grandbabies
while their mama works nights at Toppin’s
making pure pork country sausage.

I could be Page Sparrow
with an apron girded belly
and pear preserves in the pantry

I don’t want to go to sleep yet.

I could be Belhaven
Wisteria blocks the view from the front room window
White rose on a blue suit for Mother’s Day

I could be teaching Vacation Bible School at Sidney Freewill Baptist Church
An army of plaster of paris Jesus’s stand side by side on a shelf
ready to be attacked with tempera and determination

I could be Nelma Linton
limping through life in a cloud of Vicks Vapor Rub
and regret

I don’t want to go to sleep yet.

I could be in Belhaven
riding past row after row after row of corn,
tobacco, soybeans, pine trees and barefooted children

I could be rushing through supper
to get to Wednesday night prayer meeting
where I’ll talk to God and Blanche Burgess

I could be Katie McClese Foreman. A Methodist.
Going to bed early with a sick headache
leaving Roswell and the children to tiptoe around her immaculate house.

I don’t want to go to sleep yet.

I want to go down to the old house one more time.
Mama’s standing in the kitchen
Daddy’s singing about that old gang of his.

I want milk and honey.
I want faith and grace.

I want to wrap myself in mystery and an eight pointed star quilt
and rest beneath a moonless sky.


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