Wanda Stricklin Robertson
She was a child of the city,
tenements and buses and stoop-sitting.
Books showed her wide open spaces;
the block-sized park was her forest.
He was a gangly country boy,
lost in the dirty city, here for
just a while, saving enough factory
money to buy some Alabama soil.
The Lord works in mysterious ways.
When two hearts are drawn together,
what was before fades and love
becomes stronger than logic.
She loved him enough to come
to this place of humidity and mosquitoes
to raise their children, to make a home,
to spend their given days together.
That first night on this curious soil
changed her, overwhelmed her;
the new openness, the crickets’ songs
as they walked in the Alabama night.
She was amazed at the stars,
different, brighter somehow as
they lay on dew wet grass and
planned their future, eons away.
Rising, he walked to a nearby field,
returning with a watermelon that
he broke on the ground. They ate the
red with their fingers, juice running.
She remembered that night when
the hard times found them; she
remembered and smiled and
held on to him and her faith.
The sunsets kept coming, faster
and faster; their faces wrinkled,
they held their grandchild. That
first night seemed like yesterday.
She held his hand as the machines
hummed, telling him goodbye. One
last time, she wiped his lips and he smiled.
The room smelled of watermelon.