Barbara Conrad, “What I Remember Most About God”

Barbara Conrad

is that spark in her eye when she’d say
Cut yourself some slack there girl,
how she’d set her mouth all crooked
and lean into my face like she knew something I didn’t
but was about to find out. What I remember most about God
is that her neck had wrinkles, her breasts sagged
and her breath smelled like Blenheim ginger ale. And the tales
she told of her misadventures, OMG, that’s what I remember
most: Days lying in a feather hammock — no
sunscreen, polka dots stippling her nose. Travels
untraveled. Souls unsaved. Shelves of books, not even
dog-eared. (I’m not sure how she got the job.)
And the hours she spent crafting poems, even a novel once,
that flickered into mist by morning.

What I remember most about God is her lush garden
by the gate — lavender and hydrangeas made blue
out of missed wishes (her words), and the way
she could look me up and down and ask,
Now what were you saying, Sweetheart?

Bio: Barbara Conrad is author of Wild Plums, published by FutureCycle Press in 2013 and The Gravity of Color, published by Main Street Rag in 2007 and editor of Waiting for Soup (2004), a collection of art and poetry from her weekly workshops with homeless neighbors in Charlotte, NC. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies such as Tar River Poetry, Sow’s Ear, Southern Women’s Review, Icarus and Kakalak, and have won awards, honorable mentions and a Pushcart nomination. Her writing focuses on personal exploration, nature and social justice issues.

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