Featured Poetry

June Afternoons with Grandmother Lillie

By Peggy Heitmann

We sat in rockers on the front porch,
me pitching my ten-year-old body forward
and bumping across the stone porch.
We fanned ourselves
stirring up a languid breeze,
with the paddle fans Daddy gave us.
The flit, flit, flit barely cooled anything.
But we ruffled the air with the fan anyway.
As we fanned ourselves and each other,
images of advertising for either
North Highland Church on one side,
or Daddy’s employer, Banker’s Insurance Co.,
on the other side came into view.
We rocked miles and miles       
for the four-o’clocks to bloom.

We gathered the afternoon to us
like scooping water into a pitcher.
The neighbor’s dog barked
and the crickets serenaded us.
We recognized local teens
gunning their hot rods over the gravel road
in front of the house. I felt the near sunset
sun sink its way closer to the other side
of the world, saw the subtle way the light’s
shadows lengthened across the lawn.
We rocked miles and more miles                 
for the four-o’clocks to bloom.

Grandmother and I talked about
nothing in particular. Sometimes
we didn’t talk at all. I feasted on
her smiles and felt full.

Peggy Heitmann

Peggy Heitmann likes to tell people she was born with a story in her mouth. She is a word artist who craves exotic elixirs of words and a visual artist who makes art to give to family and friends. She’s happy to say people consider her a good friend. She has published poems in Gyroscope Review, Mockingowl Roost, and Kakalak, among others. You can find Peggy reading her poem “Love Portrait at Sixty-Five”on WNIJ’s Poetically Yours January 4 show. She lives in the Raleigh, NC, area with her husband and two cats.

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