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The Gift of Now

By Ann Fowler

A hedge row stitches suede sky to prairie patches.
I brake for a weathered truck and read the “eat beef” bumper sticker.
My pulse slows as Public Radio plays Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.

‘Tis the season of joy and love, the celebration of birth.
I study a cloud blowing across the sky
And feel the wind pushing my Intrepid;
the inevitability of death is not in season.

The truck stops; turns left
I return the farmer’s wave and feel the upturn of my mouth.
A smile. Joy. Life.

Soon I will be home with a man who does not remember past seasons,
when he ate, the date or sometimes my name -
the sum of life in the now.
He would have enjoyed the fast moving cloud.
I regret he is not with me.

I once believed the polish of marriage was in the memory factory;
Each photo lovingly placed in an album represented a forever reality.
When the now of yesterday is gone, what do we cherish?

The now embraces each moment as a new birth.
A shared smile captures forever.
A cloud echoes celestial joy.
Holding hands is the all of life.

Wise men (and women) – farmers in red trucks,
Men without memory and you, sages all,
Celebrate the birth of love in a solitary cloud, a smile,
a touch in the nativity of a moment.




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