On Plato and the Cave

Called broad of chest, yet broader still of mind,

The gadfly’s pupil in Athena’s town,

He, seeking truth beyond what shadows bind,

Shows us a picture. Down he leads us, down

Through gloomy grottoes; there, bound inmates name

What shades they glimpse, for such is all their sight:

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Papa

As the morning light flooded through my bedroom window, I realized today would have been my grandfather’s ninety-first birthday. Though he passed away four years ago, I can still hear his laughter, his deep baritone voice, and see the image of his open Bible resting on his lap. 

When I was growing up we lived nine hours away from my grandparents’ one-stoplight town in Arkansas. My brother and I looked forward to these visits for weeks. Their home was quaint, with a lovely porch and swing. Bright flowers, in shades of pink, purple, and white lined the sidewalk. As soon as we pulled into their gravel drive, we leaped out of the car and met them with big hugs and squeals of excitement. Almost immediately upon our arrival, we climbed up into the back of Papa’s pickup truck to head to the grocery store for what Papa called our Little Debbie Run. He let my brother and I choose our very own box of any Little Debbie snack we wanted.

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Your Final Warning

As I watched my dad walk into the gas station, I rolled the window down to enjoy the sunlight.  I was basking in the rays of the summer sun as a car drove by very slowly. I don’t remember the face of the driver, but I will never forget his eyes; they were filled with lust as he stared at me from his car. In reality, the encounter lasted only a couple of seconds, but the image of his eyes lingered in my mind. The thought immediately crossed my mind that he must not know who my Father is. I wondered if those eyes had made other girls as uncomfortable as they made me. I wondered if he knew the transforming power of God. So, I wrote a poem to him and others like him; it serves as both a warning and advice. 

Your Final Warning

You look at her with pure lust in your eyes

But soon realize she is not what you expected.

She’s not broken, weak, nor neglected

But supernaturally protected.

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Walking the Line

“If you’re going to take a walk, you might as well walk the fence,” he said. “And I know it’ll be down, so better take clips and a hammer and nails, and a spool of barbed wire in the Ranger, and I better come with you.”

I put my book away, switched out my boots, and got a hat and gloves. 

The thing about fencing is you have to keep so everlastingly at it. 

We had saved our trees and money on fence posts by running the fence through the woods. This was what one might call a heart and not a head decision, and we’ve paid for it with our hands. Trees fall, limbs break and you can add barbed wire to the list of things that aren’t what they once were. If we find an old line from a hundred years ago, we can often still use it, but our new lines may not last ten years. The cows walk the fence looking for a weak spot, and when they find it, they lean on it. It is such a peaceful form of undermining–just a weight and a give in the line, day after day until the line sags and the smaller ones get through. Then, all hell breaks loose.

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Out of the Depths

Today began unexpectedly. I was awakened by my own labored breathing and pounding heart as the memories of last year’s Good Friday flooded my mind. 

Exactly one year ago, I had an appointment set for an ultrasound with the high–risk pregnancy clinic. After speaking with my obstetrician and the clinic, I was reassured that this would more than likely be my only visit with them. They were just taking proper precautions due to my age and previous pregnancy, which had resulted in the premature birth of our first son. I was very relaxed. I even told my husband to stay home with our one-year-old so he could eat breakfast and I would be back home in plenty of time for him to make it to work. We had no idea this appointment would turn out to be a matter of life and death. My baby would be delivered via emergency C-section at just twenty-six weeks, weighing less than two pounds.

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