Prayer Persistence


Prayer Persistence

In the 1980s 

when there were mere feet 

between neighbors 

I had a persistent prayer 

for a home off-island 

on 10 acres surrounded 

by pine trees 

and a home in the middle 

with no close neighbors 

it didn’t happen then 

but God heard my introverted 

nature-loving heart 

here I sit in the early morning 

on the edge 

of December 2020 

in the home we designed 

and built 

in 2008 

on 10 acres 

surrounded by pine trees


I prayed fervently 

for the miracle of recovery 

for Mallory 

and God’s hands

orchestrated that miracle 

my car is my prayer chamber 

no radio for me 

every day on my way to work 

I pray a prayer of thanksgiving 

for the miracles 

-those we know about 

and those that God performed 

without our knowledge 

to spare us the pain – 

for each of my children by name 

and their spouses and friends 

for their marriages 

that they find 

the right mate 

and stick together 

for my grandchildren by name 

that they are guided by God‘s hand 

for my dad that the right mate 

will come alongside him, 

that he will know 

without a doubt 

yes, with certain clarity

when the right one appears

and he doesn’t settle 

for a loneliness placeholder 

for Briar and us and our families 

for our health and safety 

and our jobs 

that keep us fed and sheltered 

for all the blessings we enjoy 

though we deserve none 

and for forgiveness 

we need it so much 

I know the power of persistent prayer




The Lord has his ways 

of revealing ourselves to us 

through others 

like a looking glass

strangest thing 

a grandmother 

came for her 

first Thanksgiving as a widow 

to visit her children 

she brought her new man 

her children are opposed 

and expressed their concerns 

new man’s too old

 – he’s just looking for a caretaker – 

he already forgets everything 

she’s disgracing the family 

they’re already talking 

of moving in together 

my dad didn’t work this hard 

for this long 

for her to squander the savings 

on new man 

he’d be rolling in his grave

for his children’s sake

new man can’t handle 

all the children running around 

he keeps complaining about them 

being all out of control 

he doesn’t understand 

that’s how little kids are 

it’s a shame – she needs 

to think about 

who’s going to be there 

to care for her when her time comes 

new man sure won’t be 


it’s worse than that –

she needs to think about 

who’s going to be there anytime

when no one wants 

to be around new man 

she doesn’t love new man

she just wants a companion 

and she’s so used 

to being a caregiver 

she thinks that’s her only purpose 

and on and on and on

children overly concerned 

for their mothers situation 

that she is choosing 

they predict pitfalls she doesn’t see 

perhaps the pitfalls won’t be there 

perhaps love means care for the aging

perhaps the nest egg is not destined 

for the children anyway

perhaps the interesting casts of characters 

in their family dramas 

will keep them energetic and alive

like those brain-building puzzles they do

perhaps aging parents 

and their new companions

should be given the blessing 

from their children 

to go for a new life 

under a different roof

and see what 

for better or for worse 

revelations emerge

Thanksmas Triumphant


Thanksmas Triumphant! 

Carolina chairs

chatting campside 

fabulous fire pit

corn hole champ

(oops….dump truck ramp)

cooking collards

3 loyal labs

2 snooty schnoodles

1 tasty turkey

Thanksgiving table setter

missing Mallory 

fabulous fire pit 

plentiful picnic 

deserted desserts (too full)

opening offerings

smart scientist

perfect pink princess

dancing Deere driver

fabulous fire pit 

downtown drive

sidewalk stroll 

scrumptious shrimp and grits

waterfront waffle cones

swing sitting

fabulous fire pit 

smokin’ s’mores 

loving life

fun family 


 Lowcountry Serenity 


the moss-cloaked oaks 

in the calming peace 

of a misty 

South Carolina Lowcountry morning


husband slumbering 

dogs rolled up tight, snoozing 

fresh coffee steaming, swirling 

blanketed silence 

reminding me 

that we are 

among the few 

who know  


there is 

no Black Friday deal 

worth more 



A Covid Thanksmas


A Covid Thanksmas 

remember those


Thanksgiving Day ways 

that started a week ahead 

with cleaning the house 

and thawing the turkey 

three days in advance 

and getting up at 6 AM 

to bake casseroles 

and ice desserts 

and set the table 

with wedding gift China 

and chill the wine 

and polish the silver 

and buff the crystal

and arrange the 

fake fall leaf centerpiece 

          to impress?

remember the days of aprons 

because we wore 

our good clothes 

to the formal dinner table 

where the masses 

of family members 

from different sides 

feeling awkward 

with each other 

sat up straight 

with napkins 

in laps 

for the high noon 

scripted prayer? 

and someone 

always got stuck 

next to that “one

but nobody could 

relax and 

forget a few manners 

because of 



twisted the turkey

this year

and we can 

hate the sickness 

but be thankful 

for some changes

we drove our 

CDC-defined household 

down south 

and parked it  

in the backyard 

and overslept 

with the dogs 

between us

it’s Thanksmas 

and there are 

no rigid rules 

we’re combining the holidays 

and extending the visit 

we’ll get up 

brush our teeth and hair 

wear jeans 

and flip-flops 

and eat 

when we’re hungry 

at whatever time 

we pick 

we’ll play cornhole 

and Scrabble  

and Pie Face 

and cards 

and drink coffee 

and talk 

we’ll watch 

Christmas movies 

and offer our own

silent prayers 

of thanks 

throughout the day

thanking God 

for those we love 

and include the kids 

in saying 

the big blessing

and take naps 

we’ll use paper plates 

and Solo cups 

at picnic tables outside 

and share scraps 

with the five dogs 

even a sibling burping contest 

isn’t out of the question 

we’ll start a fire 

and roast marshmallows 

and make s’mores 

and drink hot chocolate 

and watch kids 

    open presents 

        play scientist 

            have a tea party 

            with a princess 

                 and set up 

                    a new nativity 

we’ll look at old photos 

and tell stories 

and laugh 

even unbuttoning our jeans 

after too much pie 

is not out of the question

a pandemic 


its holiday blessings

Getting Ready


Getting Ready: Prepping for Thanksmas 2020

making plans 

checking lists 

shopping for toys 

crafting a menu 

wrapping presents 

(cornhole included) 

playing Christmas music 

feeling festive 

doing laundry 

sharing recipes 

ordering Clicklist 

cooking ahead 

sampling the fudge 

testing the smoke alarm programming the TV 

grooming the dogs 

adjusting harnesses 

gathering games 

packing the camper 

coordinating clothes 

mounting the hitch 

loading picnic tables 

folding tablecloths 

sharpening the carving knife

sprucing up the table tree 

nogging the Evan Williams 

nipping the peppermint schnapps 

labeling foil pans 

counting utensils 

stocking the pantry 

sheeting beds 

fluffing towels 

mixing hot Russian tea 

chopping pecans 

measuring ingredients 

thinking through details 

anticipating merriment

withdrawing Christmas cash 

choosing audiobooks 

fueling up 

voting for paper plates 

looking forward to the fun

praying for a safe trip 

sedating schnoodles 

setting Waze 

buckling up 




the day 

after Halloween 

the world 

lit up for Christmas 

Facebook directed, 

“we’re all 

fast forwarding 

to the Christmas spirit 

for 2020” 

we watch, wondering 

why we’d want 

to speed up a season 

as if Covid will drop 

like the ball 

in Times Square 

at midnight 

New Year’s Eve 

we watch, wondering 

if November 1 

will become 

the new 

black shopping day 


if the spirit 

can be manufactured 

by lights,





because togetherness 

has new Covid rules 

about who belongs 

in a household 

and who doesn’t 

we watch, wondering 

whether some believe 






can be plugged 

and unplugged 

like tree lights 

we watch, wondering 

why all the rush 

when miracles 

happen all around us 

every day 

we wait, praying 

for His return 

Oh, what a Christmas 

of togetherness 

THAT will be! 

Blue Kazoo

Blue Kazoo

A Blue Kazoo Pantoum 

a kazoo?!?!

weightless blue musical flute

seized from your suitcase at luggage inspection 

on a family Christmas trip to New York City

weightless plastic toy

just who were you? the Pied Piper?

2004 tsunami zoom to The Big Apple

a simple kazoo- not illegal drugs or weapons

who were you now? the Pied Piper

were you to groove and kazoo through the streets?

a kazoo – neither bong nor bazooka

booming voice scarring sweet souls, ruining memories

were you to flitter and flute-toot through the streets?

a kazoo – looted from your suitcase

other too-heavy baggage ruled the truth of the doom

a kazoo?!?!

Home from the Rodeo


Home from the Rodeo

September 1993 

you were four

your baby sister 

wasn’t a week old yet 

you left with your dad 

and older sister 

for a rodeo 

at Midway Farms 

2 miles away 

down the highway 

down a long stretch 

of dirt road 

but halfway through my “nap when the baby naps,” 

I got a phone call 

from a subdivision neighbor 

“Mrs. Meyer, 

we found your son 

on Highway 46”

I panicked! 

then he added 

“he got lost….

a lady saw him running alone 

on 46

and tried 

to pick him up 

but he wouldn’t get 

in her car 

so she’s riding 

alongside him 

until he makes it home 


alive, not dead 

     tears of relief 

           deep breath

that may have been 

the day 

you became a runner 

you were well-oriented 

you were cautious 

you were determined 

you still are 

you made it home on your own terms that day

with an angel

in tow