One Last Push
The chains held strong with the weight of the three female bodies pressed tightly together,
Old familiar wood beneath us, yielding to our weight, now as it had many times before.
Our feet pushing against the dirt beneath them, smooth, grass long gone, rubbed away,
From years of familiar toes pushing hard against the soil to spring forth the swing.
Three daughters brought together by the death of a young mother, killed by her own hand,
The same hands which had pushed this swing long ago, which brought forth laughter.
Three small girls, squealing with delight, while little dresses blew wildly in the wind,
Southern life, the smell of honey suckles, crazy cat playing in the garden, oh blessed time!
Long ago, small noses would be trying to pick up smells from the kitchen, with anticipation,
What might Mama be baking for us to eat after our dinner was all gone, and plates empty!
Quiet now, this morning, hands holding on to coffee cups and minds on a dreaded funeral,
Yet simultaneously somehow all six feet found the southern rhythm of the sweet song of the swing.
In harmony, back and forth we went; no one spoke, and in silence we sipped our coffee.
Long emotional glances of the yard and memories of Mama moving about the garden.
For me, I felt a peace of sorts, my mind swayed with the movement of the great oaks,
Their small bottom limbs lifting and shifting with the wind as the birds sang.
Everywhere were memories of my mother, the great elephant ear plants she had loved,
Planted long ago and now so over grown and flowers bursting with dazzling color.
Tomatoes still hanging on plants that were ready for picking and would now never be,
Instead they would ripen and rot, fall off and the critters would devour them.
The shed Daddy had built long ago while Mama observed, Daddy liked Mama to watch,
He did not want her to help or learn how to assist, he just wanted her there close by.
The swing suddenly came to an abrupt stop, startled I noticed my little sister was crying,
My eyes had filled with tears and my older sister was sobbing and I touched her.
We all sat still in the swing and looked around at the yard for the longest time and then,
My little sister suddenly sprung up and began to push us as hard as she could.
Tears turned to laughter, the coffee in my cup spilled on my old pink house coat,
I stared at the unimportant stain and playfully threw down my cup watching it break.
My older sister followed suit and then we threw our legs up as high as we could,
Our little sister pushed us even harder and we laughed with a united abandon.
I knew then that Mama was watching us and she was laughing too, I could feel her,
My mother’s heart was with us and she was giving us one last push forward.