My sister and I sat on her porch.

We drank tea and talked

about grandchildren, her

newest play, the ways of

white folks and

black folks, the song of

a bird in the yard and how

her plants have grown, how

wonderful this year’s garden will

be. Zeke came in with apple pie and

news of police cars and yellow tape

up at the Krogers up the street. Of a U

turn and a trip to the store in the other

direction. My sister googled;

a shooting in the produce department. Two

women argue, a male

companion shoots; the woman, alert,

identifies everybody on her way

to the hospital. We

shook our heads, vowing never to

return to that particular store and

ate our pie.

After the Rain

This morning the green leaves, no

longer spring green, darker

and summer like, take up the space

where the sky showed last week.

Rain falls on the roof while I write. Outside

the open door, rain and the rustle of

leaves. There is no noise from the

swaying of tree trunks. Unless they

snap or pull up their shallow roots

and topple screaming to the ground.

Into A Book

My sister, my father and me. My bedroom window was upstairs on the left.

When I was about five,

I thought after death, you

went into the nearest book.

My mother must have been reading

us Little House in the Big Woods

because that’s the book I made sure

was nearby at night. Just in case.