By and By

the sun casts the faintest
of shadows across the lawn
in the afternoon lull
between rainstorms

my mind does not rest in
these peaceful moments
but continues to ask
questions in the hope of

answers to prayers so long
repeated so long lamented
so long hoped for all in
God’s time

For God’s time is greater
than my own but how sweet
it would be

Satan’s emissary can be as
small as a fly spreading
the littlest lie a fiery
dart aimed at the heart

but just then as I held
on to what I know I heard
the church bells strike
three to remind me that

I belong to thee even if
I die before the fly and
the answers will come
in the sweet by and by

Answers

I sat out back while I burned
a pile of wood debris that has
been wet since February.

This week of sun was my only
chance before the next big
tropical storm rolls in on Friday.

I sat there with an Oliva Master
3 Blend, 5 x 54, in my hand. It
is the third of four in a gift set

from Father’s Day last year.
Obviously, when I stopped
smoking cigars and pipes in

1976, I did not know I was going
to get this gift. Since I was alone
in the back, I thought it was a

good time to talk to God about
the questions on my heart. He
didn’t seem to mind the cigar.

He is a good listener as I did
most of the talking. Well, all of
the talking actually.

I got up a few times to check the
fire and killed two ant hills along
the edge of the patio.

God was still listening. I know
what you want to ask. Did I get
any answers. Not today. Soon.

In God’s time, I will. I asked big
questions; so I expect big answers.
If you ask, you will get an answer.

Not to worry. Long after the last
cigar is gone, God will hear me
and give me answers.

Laura Revisited II

Hurricane Laura hit us about one in
the morning. The noise and the heat
awakened me. The power was out.

It sounded like there were two big
powerful locomotives moving at top
speed. One flying past the front of

the house and one in the backyard.
The two large elms and giant oak
in the front cast elastic shadows.

I sort of slept from three to six or
so. A cold water cleanup. No shave.
No electric but the stove is gas. I used

a lighter and boiled water for coffee.
I went to the top cupboard and took
down my old Bodum French press.

It was fine for the two of us. We moved
into the TV room where I opened two
windows and the side door to get some

air. Hot air is better than no air. A light
breeze crisscrossed the room. The rain
stopped. By dusk the wind started to

die down. We talked back and forth all
afternoon. I cooked as the light faded
from the windows. We ate by lantern.

Back in the TV room, she shrieked.
Her fan came on. Power was back on.
God is good. The gift of another day.