The Preacher’s in the Parlor

I’m hidin’ in the barn. They’re droppin’ in
at suppertime and Papa’s lookin’ green.
Ol’ Skeeter’s broke his leash and fled the scene.
Deliver us from bible-thumpin’ kin!

Aunt Smerka Lott’s a vision: beehive hair
and buttoned up plumb shut from chin to sole
‘cep one long finger waggin’ through a hole
waist-high. (I wouldn’ guess what’s under there.)

Now Mama comes and drags me by the neck
into the parlor. Uncle Filler Buster
is warmin’ up to toss his well-worn cluster
of pearls before us pigs. Oh Holy Heck!

I pray, “Dear Lord, please hurry. They deserve
to be called home.” God’s workin’ up the nerve.


2003 Mary Boren
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Photo Source

Bringing In the Sheep

As I’m heating my lunch in a timed microwave
and browsing the web on a laptop computer,
I think of the effort my grandmother gave
and wonder how modern-day living would suit her.

She would keep the fires burning preparing three meals —
no electric appliances, no running water —
while my grandfather labored all day in the fields,
yet together they planted five sons and a daughter.

Raising children on faith in a sharecropper’s home,
they instilled in each seedling the value of prayer.
There was no need for TV or light bulb or phone,
for the family’s singing would fill the night air.

It has often been said life was simpler back then.
I suspect our ancestors might challenge that view,
but I’m sure they’d be willing to do it again
just to see what became of the crop their love grew.

Visit Hal Upchurch Chronicles to read about the life and times of the children of Frank & Winnie.


Mary Boren, 1995
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