how is it

i ask with thirty years of hindsight
and four indulged and clammering
children round our own


when we gathered everyone who mattered
from the final hymn and handshake


the pride and joy
the blessings and the stuff of dreams
for their abundant lives

accepted without complaint our lot

sent away to wait and
to be quiet

while they

after offering glorious four part praises
laughed and


men secure against the wall
to each according to his needs and
women popping up and down
from each according to her abilities

and we

imbibing smells of
hamburger kotletten balls and
paska Easter bread
envisioned mounds of fluffy mashed potatoes
golden buttered corn and
glistening jelly salads
orange and green and red


stomachs growling
heads stunned with anticipation
hearts gripped by fear
that all the torte
oozing pudding out and down
between flat layer cakes
fourteen I think in all
would disappear down all those callused throats a-laughing

our time would come

once men loosening belts
still joking
sauntered out from her domain
proud of their accomplishments
setting free their beloved progeny

to tumble in

to take our places round
the closest we could know

to heaven