Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Neighbors, Friends, "Family"

What fun I had yesterday; our next-door neighbors dropped in.
One came to practice her English; she has become a friend.
She came in to learn; we began with coffee and a few laughs
About something that, in the day before's lesson, had come to pass.

She had been sharing a recipe that she called "blasted potatoes;"
I struggled with her over pronunciation, but this is what she chose.
She finally, in frustration, spelled the words on a pad for me,
Hoping I would understand if only I could hear and see.

In the dead of night after this lesson, I woke up with a start;
Her words, during my sleep, had taken themselves apart.
Because she had explained the recipe's preparation process,
My subconscious realized what her procedure suggests.

"She was saying basted!" my subconscious screamed.
Perhaps this came together in something I'd just dreamed.
"You were saying basted," I sang out, and we celebrated.
The tiny victories in communication can't be overrated.

Then my most pious Jewish friends came for lunch.
We had pork and potatoes; they're not an orthodox bunch.
I always love our meetings; we discuss much theology;
Our talks are about our shared Judeo-Christian history.

Our religions' foolish territorial natures cause our laughter,
But we know, among others, these religions cause disaster.
Would that all with differences could be fascinated by others,
And honor each other's ways, like sisters and brothers.

When these friends had taken their leave, with much hesitation,
I thought I was finished with that day's community relations.
My student and her husband dropped by to consult with Richard,
Concerning a family medical problem about which they'd just heard.

They left after a nice visit; surely it was time for our privacy.
Here came our other next-door neighbor, with a request of me.
A three-time veteran of Iraq, and college student who can't cook;
He had a stir-fry kit that he brought over for me to take a look.

I had offered to be his pretend mom and cook for him
If he would be willing to be Richard's techno-savvy friend.
Neighbors, friends, "family" -- what better way to spend the day?
These are the blessings of life for which I always did pray.

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