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Hangin’ Out at Bee Dee’s

I look back at my Monticello High School years and remember that time as fun, difficult, a little warped. I needed cue cards to maneuver around the corners. Like other adolescent girls, I suppose, I felt powerful one hour and helpless the next. It was a time of light, a time of shadows. I now know that those years were filled with grief for me. Grief over what someone said or what nobody said, what someone did or what nobody did. My parents had separated. My brothers, sisters, and I were living in separate cottages all over the campus of the Arkansas Baptist Home for Children. I carried many feelings and unasked questions in my throat. It was a time of singing along with songs on the radio,

I Think God Called Me to Write

I read these words this past week in someone else’s writing. My heart immediately jumped. Confirmation. Me, too. God called me to write, too. Relief. I did not just stumble into it. In the early years, I recall enjoying penmanship, doodling, the smell of ink, the feel of paper, the fun of hurling a phrase. I also remember a poem coming like a geyser, me trying to capture it and getting into trouble with a teacher for not paying attention to fractions. Those poems, just a fun thing to do. Then came the many seasons when I received degrees, married, raised a family, taught school, counseled others. Just doing whatever I fell into. Always something more pressing than writing, which waited for m

Thrift Store Shopping

Hot and a dry July. Hay farmers have concern about the parched land. Gardens are drying up, flowers are browning, hummingbirds are struggling to find natural sweetness. Some of us bow heads and ask for rain. I want to go somewhere like a galaxy far, far away where it is cool, where temperatures hover at 75 degrees. So I take off in my car and go thrift store shopping. I enter shops and cruise the aisles. I’m open to whatever I see at a magnificently low price. I spend an entire morning going in and out of shops, buying something fun from every shop: a sign, magnets, a pie plate, a piece of luggage, a chenille bedspread. Maybe this is my way of running away. The clerks and managers of each sh

In Honor of Cannas and Jim Barton

I am numb today, so I am up early and looking for my yard shoes. I’m not outside, because I want to beat the heat. Today it’s all about looking for a way to grieve my loss. My poet friend died yesterday. Right now, I’m aware that the people I love best do not mess around. They jump into what’s ahead for them, no matter the difficulty. They do not dilly-dally. They jump into it like a bright red canna set on climbing straight and tall. Maybe they read everything they can find on a subject or get up early in the morning to make sure they have time and space for their passion. That behavior is believable. They sacrifice time and sometimes money to do what they want to do. My friend Jim Barton f

Thank You!

Body, you have served me well. Somehow I made moves, had thoughts, walked through crowds and years, sadness and laughter, fears and anger and love. I went here and there with you. Or did you go with me? What force was leading us? We could never have done it on our own. Neither of us, that strong. One day you and I will part ways, but not yet, not yet. When it is time. But not yet. It has been quite a dance. What little joys and laughs we’ve had. I guess we have served each other. You helped me, I helped you. I think God has tugged us through the years, helping us get this far together. We are inseparable like old friends. Let’s keep moving forward, hand in hand, into the great unknown. Body,

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