He showed me okra when I was a child.
He walked with me; I ran holding his hand.
He showed me their whole yard, each garden-bed,
And gradually taught me, as he smiled.
Those swift thin little lizards that beguiled
My eyes with green and gold, that fairyland
Of flowers and fruiting trees that rose from sand,
In Florida where winter winds are mild.
All this, the litchis and gardenias were
An Eden with no apple tree in view,
A Paradise, a place beyond the years,
Where old folks go, with frankincense and myrrh:
When I was little, long before I knew
Where heaven really is, through seas of tears.
Copyright 2000 Anissa Nedzel Gage