Foggy morning at the Masonic Home

Masonic Home gardens 1

Here are the final three stanzas of a longer poem I wrote about twenty years ago called “Were You There?”

I remember

before I went to school,

when I was three,

visiting my mother’s ancient aunt

in the Masonic home, in Elizabethtown Pa.

My father and I walked the foggy misty gardens.

Many steps, smell of boxwood.

How does boxwood smell?

Sharp as goldfinch comments,

intimate as bodies close up,

crunchy and green, dark green,

that’s how boxwoods smell.

And we heard the sad murmur of the mourning doves,

flutelike and saying

everyone dies, everyone gets old,

most of us get blind.

In the dark hemlock of age,

arbor vitae of love,

blue spruce of winter,

boxwood of borders,

a name that means twin.


I don’t want to put my fingers

into the holes in your hands,

and even less do I want to put my hand

into the wound in your side

that speaks death to me

like a misplaced mouth.

I will be glad to say that I believe you are back

from the dark,

and I will be glad to say I believe them

when they tell me they have seen you.


<a href=””>Foggy</a&gt;postcard of masonic home



Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

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