Milk and Honey in a China Cup

Grandmother's eyes Like wintery morning skies Welcome me as earth does spring. Her laughter seems to sing And warble-warm my heart. I kiss her cheek And catch a hint of jasmine And the scent of just starched lace. And she remembers how when I was six I'd sit mouse-still to let her braid my hair How my eyes would rove the dresser Topped with tempting keepsakes, quaint - A crystal vial, her cameo, a jar, a potpourri. And while she fashioned my chignon, she'd quote, ``Remember, pretty is as pretty does,'' And twist a twirly ribbon Through my topknot like a crown.

And I remember how I would romp the orchard Toadstool-counting, picking peaches ripe for pies. And how she had stilled my cries When Grandpa let me watch him wring a fryer's neck. Then, at supper, how he'd blessed it. And the loaf. And garden greens. And while he blessed the other things How I'd peek out at settings, Gingham crisp and crockery plain Except for one small china cup Of honey-milk for me.

We smile the afternoon away, And postpone our goodbyes To feed our roots on heartspun love Until starlight steals the day. A kiss, a hug, a ``Hurry back,'' And Grandmother's eyes Glow with joy and sadness Like summer sunset skies.

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