In my memory

I see again

a pea patch

in Florida


Hot sun beaming down

on a skinny barefoot girl of 11

and rows of corn and peas

as far as the eye can see


Get those peas picked now

no dallying around

It's three oclock on a Sunday afternoon

no breeze, no rain, no stopping

sweat streaming down your back

Gran's old bonnet on my head

don't help the heat

jug's of ice water under the old tree

don't either


You trip over a pine knot

hidden just under the dusty soil

and as you try to regain your balance

you step squarely into a stinging nettle


As huge tears trickle down my cheek

I pray

dear Lord, please get me out of this pea patch


Now  here I am so many years later

and my thoughts carry me back again

to a better and a cleaner day


and once again

I wafe a prayer

Dear God, how I wish

I could see that old pea patch again


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