With Grace and Gratitude

Grace and Gratitude live together in a small
yellow house on the side of a grassy knoll.
A bur oak shades their afternoons, and a small
windbreak of pines adds a strip of deep green
To snowy Februarys.

Grace is a quiet, small woman. So kind…
well, they are both kind, but Grace’s smile opens
locked doors, calls forth the redbird’s music even
on winter days.

Her sister, Gratitude, carries a countenance of
peace that seems hard won. Her brown eyes carry weight.
She will crochet all afternoon on a peach-colored afghan
for their new nephew. Gratitude sings a delicious alto,

While Grace is soprano. Grace often wears shades
of blue, especially pale, ice blue, matching her eyes.
Her sister commonly wears black, but not a mournful black—
Black with a broach of gold, satin edges, a bit of crocheted lace.

Grace grows an herb garden, tidy, perennial.
Gratitude has grown slips of every color and kind of
African violet given her. From the tiny fuzzy leaf of a pink scalloped
variety, handed over, dry, after church,
comes a gallon of blossoms.

Grace has a handkerchief collection, flowers and laces
All tatted and textured. She uses a few sturdy ones
Will hand you one to keep, if you’ve a drippy nose.
You’ll never catch Grace with her starched white apron untied.
Gratitude commonly forgets the apron, white flour smudge on black.

What have these two women created in their isolated, yet
Oh so fruitful lives? Grace is inner fire. She teaches us of patience,
the breath of unexpected laughter after long months of grief.

Gratitude has been born, out of the Earth. She is
derivative of Life, and all that Grace brings
so naturally. Where Grace is sunshine,
Gratitude is rainbow.

Gratitude becomes the final power of the human spirit.
Her life shows us that one decision—to live with Grace—
is everything.

/BEW & DDM 4-20-03