Sunday, 30 April 2017 11:18

By The Grace Of A Poem

Written by  Priscilla K. Garatti

We laid together on the bed, each of us holding one side of a book up above our faces.  Five-year-old Lilly and I love to read.  And I especially like listening to her read out loud to me.  Lilly's been reading for about a year now, and when she reads, her voice is a wind chime--melodic and clear--her narrative expressive--her knowledge of vocabulary extensive for one so young.

That day we rested, and Lilly read over ten library books to me.  I basked in her child's voice reverberating in the sunny room, and the delicate scent of Johnson's baby shampoo, her head next to mine. And every now and then Lilly paused, turned toward me, her blue eyes the color of ocean calm, and said, "Oh I just love being with you, Minou (pronounced Me-Noo), my grandmotherly title.  And, of course, the emotion felt extravagantly mutual, my heart melted to hear her sentiments.  Delight cubed.

Out of all of the books, Lilly pointed to the book of poetry and said, "I love this one the most."  The book she liked was one I'd spied on the library shelf and been attracted to as well--Changes--A Child's First Poetry Collection.  Poems by Charlotte Zolotow and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke.  And there was one poem that we read over and over.  At one point, Lilly said, "Oh Minou, I can sing poems too."  And then Lilly proceeded to formulate a tune with the lovely poem.  I must admit I was transfixed and asked her to sing the poem again. She sang,

The Fly

I was sitting on the porch

reading my book

in the summer sun.

A fly

settled on my page

black as ink.

Quivering and alive, rubbing one leg against the other,

he sat on a word. ( How Lilly and I laughed at this, as we decided we love sitting on words too.)


Two more Lilly read and sang:



I like shadows

I like sun

I like you

more than anyone.

I like summer

I like the cold

I'll even like you 

when you're old.

I like work

I like play

I like you every which way.


By The Sea

The salty wind

the sound of the sea,

the sand and the sun,

the waves and the spray--

a glistening, glittering jewel of a day!

Reluctantly, after a couple of hours, Lilly and I pulled ourselves away from our stack of books, but we felt refreshed by the beauty and bounty of words, by the grace of a poem.

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What Readers Are Saying

In Missing God Priscilla takes a brave and unflinching look at grief and the myriad ways in which it isolates one person from another. The characters are full-bodied and the writing is mesmerizing. Best of all, there is ample room for hope to break through. This is a must read.

Beth Webb-Hart (author of Grace At Lowtide)

winner"On A Clear Blue Day" won an "Enduring Light" Bronze medal in the 2017 Illumination Book Awards.

winnerAn excerpt from Missing God won as an Honorable Mention Finalist in Glimmertrain’s short story “Family Matters” contest in April 2010.