Sunday

It was Sunday again. She knew not because she could follow days, but because after feeding the chickens, Auntie insisted she take a bath.

It was a new thing, bathing herself alone; she was only a small girl.

Life was different now. Her Mama had gone away to someplace far, called Florida. Daddy said she would never be back.

Auntie had come to live in the little house because she was a widow- woman, alone. Sometimes she seemed strange with her black clothes and strict rules. She knew things like no one else did. People sent for her when someone was sick, or babies came, or people left this living.

She was mean at times, telling the little girl, “If you don’t behave, your Mama woman will come and take you away from here, and you will see your Daddy no more.” Tears and sobs would torment Hope because she loved her Daddy and Bubba more than all the things, including her one baby doll. She had night terrors of being snatched by the bad woman and taken away.

After she bathed in the tub of cold well water, Auntie pushed her dress, underwear, and shoes into her arms. She was careful in putting them on just right because Auntie was handy with a switch.

Soon Daddy, dressed in black, except his white shirt and the gray tie he wore, said it was time to begin the long walk to the church. It was dry now, so the road threw up little spurts of red dust as they strode along.

When they reached the bridge over the creek, Hope cried and wrapped herself, best she could around her Daddy’s legs; he could keep her safe from the harm of falling or being taken away.

Daddy reached down and effortlessly took her in his arms. Since the child could walk, she had been terribly afraid of falling through the cracks in the bridge. Now it was compounded by nightmares and his sister’s stories her mother might step out of the woods and steal her.

Auntie screeched, “You should put that child down and make her walk. You are spoiling her. She will turn out to be no good at all.”

Daddy looked at her, saying, “But she is only three, and she needs to learn love is a safe place, a safe person, she can trust when she is frightened. Hush up now; you are not the one supporting her weight. She is my precious Hope; she has lost a lot, it is okay that I carry her. Mind yourself, don’t be so cold-hearted.”

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I rarely tell stories, this one is based on reality. The little girl is my Mom.

Gifts We Cannot Buy

The quiet of home when we
Return from wrestling lions all day.
The satisfaction of writing letters,
Poems, songs for loved ones.
The taste of a meal carefully
Prepared with helpings of love.
A comfortable chair, bright light,
Books we are longing to read.
Songs we never realized existed
But for which we find a soul hunger.
A dog, cat, lizard, goat, cow, whoever
Comes snuggles up, revealing devotion.
Stolen hours when hearts, souls
Are permitted freedom to dance art.
Picking up a crying child, watching
As eyes go wide, kissed by a smile.
The sweet hug of those treasured
Who we raised despite everything.
Traveling to a far-off wonderland,
Returning to a space of belonging.
Knowing, growing with screen friends,
Finally, meeting with hugs, face to face.
Sunshine after a bleak succession
Of wickedly dark, sad stormy days.
The alabaster moon coming from behind
Clouds, in time for a sweetheart kiss.
Setting aside specific times to find those
Moments to sincerely pray to the Lord.
Laying down, fed, safe, warm, beneath
Covers, falling into deep refreshing sleep.
Awaking to a day full of opportunity,
Possibility, without doubt, we are loved.
Living in a blessed place where each one
Can achieve hopes, dreams, and success.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

It Is A Historic Time

Some days are a fevered pitch of defeat and glory. Today was one such. I did not want to be alone, and I got my hope. I spent last night and today in my Happy Place with Richard, who challenges me to be more than I think I can be.

We did not miss a thing sitting at the tables, viewing events on a projection screen. Much of the day was moving, and sometimes in contrary ways.

We laughed riotously at unpredictable surprises and were moved deeply by others.

Change is, nothing remains the same. As a people, we must look forward and let the past collect its debts in time as is its due. I am thankful the day did not descend into chaos as was so recently the case.

I had clam chowder for the first time last night and again this evening. As I have mentioned, he cooks for me. I spent some time doing the things I would at home, reading on my tablet, and being a wastrel on my computer. He did some work, and I could distract him if I were near.

So many times, we put our hope in personalities and people. Perhaps we should recognize that over everything is the Lord who holds every destiny. Life is a gift, and we must spend each second carefully.

I have a few goals toward which I am working. I am not calling them resolutions because I expect to work on them as long as I am. One is trying to build a reservoir of self-confidence; this is sorely lacking in me. Richard suggests I do another thing, not worry about what others think about me because it is not my business. The other; just be myself and love as much as I can in any way I can.

My son, Alex, in a picture, taking a picture.

Prompt
On a day like today, we have endings and beginnings; what can you personally undertake to improve your existence? Create something on such a theme.

Gratitude Today
The transition that occurred in our nation today was peaceful.
Richard avoided a disaster.
I proofed a magazine overnight.
Music is such consolation.
I did this even though I would like otherwise.

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All Material © Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Ties, Binding

Love is our true fate,
Given us for all goodness,
Aiding survival.


A child is a gift
Perfectly bestowed, teaching,
Lessons as we go.


We may not answer
All the questions rendered us,
But wisdom becomes


My son, Alex, and I out hiking.

Prompt:
Explore some relationship, dear to you, in a creative form. If shorts appeal, use haiku, tanka, or just limited lines.

Gratitude Today
I have a tribe.
My evening with Richard.
Good victuals.
Chocolate.
Hugs.

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All Material © Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Weary Wear

Understanding is
Difficult when all you feel
Is magnified pain;
Welcome to the fierce party
Where the fight is to be real, heal.
Put it all away
The problem and scalding tears
No illustration
Is necessary because
Everyone has scrabbled in
The concoction made
When one forgets to close those
Cabinet doors written of
In proper legend,
The lore of continued
Battles in ongoing war.
No one becomes the victor,
Only adept at disguise.
Screams of despair
Rise, rise into pallid skies
Pain never fades, stops,
But does not lie; it destroys
Equally all of the time.

Prompt: Create something quickly, which seems you took considerable time. Try to engage all your creativity in limited moments.

Gratitude Today
I was up to see Alex off.
I finished up the magazine pages with the others.
I took a nap.
Alex made it to Jacksonville safely.
I think I will complete this post in time.

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All Material © Jo Ann J. A. Jordan