When the Asian ladybug lands
against my windowpane, its body becomes a prayer bead,
a quick prayer
moving upward in the sunshine of a hard tumble. Today
I threw away a bouquet of flowers gathered in 1995
from a wind-chapped mountain meadow
in Washington. Out West, as we called ourselves
my family, collecting shiny things of this earth; now guilt
is my go-to emotion. But the shelf of my special things
has held the sturdy star shapes of the child-
loved blooms as long as I asked, so there’s that.
Why is it I can describe the world all day,
and still not say how I feel?
A pumpkin on the seashore is what kind of fish? My niece asks
over supper, the everyday music of our lives,
our knives and forks poised over what we understand: sustenance,
now; tonight, the moon. Aberglaube that little dragon
folded on my teacup shelf: only as fragile as I would have it.
Whatever puddle the heart makes is always the right one.
Your problem is, you have read a book.
The sun will not be dictated to.
This is what I imagine the lilac bush to say, the lilac bush
that is really my grandfather. Planted before he died young,
my first recollection of spring, of gathering up
and being gathered.
Charity Gingerich is back in Uniontown, OH, after living and teaching in Morgantown, WV, for the past five and a half years. She has an MFA from WVU. Her work has appeared in journals such as Moon City Review, The Laurel Review, Ruminate, and Quiddity. In spring 2015, Arts & Letters nominated her poem, “Mountains, Sunset, Redbird, River” for Best New Poets. She has been invited to read her work at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Writers Festival in February, 2016. When not writing and teaching, she sings in various choral groups. In summer 2014, she spent 3 weeks touring with the Hope Singers in Poland, and this past summer found her helping to make a recording of contemporary Anabaptist compositions with the Tapestry Chamber Singers. She currently teaches creative writing at the University of Mount Union.