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F William (Bill) Broome

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Hearth and Stone
By F William (Bill) Broome
Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Rated "G" by the Author.

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           >> View all 13


Hearth and Stone

She’d heard him say that no one ever came here,
and wondered why they were there. It was something
to do about rocks or stones she recalled as he steps on
the rickety porch of creaking boards trod for too many
decades. She watches him push back the door hanging
on a single hinge, but stays outside the crumbling cabin,
remembering how long ago his father had called it home.

Enveloped by inside darkness he knows the room well
from a faded sepia print seen as his great-grandmother
sang her little song over and over, the tune bouncing
in his head with words that seemed to say her heart was
in a stone, then, to his questions she smiles as she puts
a finger to her lips.

Some of the missing pieces came together before her death,
suggesting that behind a stone in the cabin was something
of value to his father’s grandmother, an old thin woman of
secrets and mischief who guides him today to the aged
fireplace with rusting bolts of a long ago rotted mantel.
This is where he finds a likely stone held in place with
dried mud easily pried away so he could take out the
ancient stone, if he had guessed right.

A small, but preserved leather black bag rewards his years
of wonderment and dreams from Granny’s song about
her hearth and stone yielding a faded love letter and
three 1858 gold coins. He decided that they were placed
there by a Union soldier, whose promise to wed had been
sealed with a dowry of gold. He is in immediate shock,
because such a find over 140 years later, was the source of
untold wealth for the young discoverer and his beautiful and unadventurous bride-to-be.

F. William Broome © 2005
All Rights Reserved

A Cat Tale

During a long day of the ordinary, a walk proved that things weren’t ever

mundane and they happen whether I’m there or not; like the huge grey

cat walking the roof line of the two story brown house, stopping at the

edge as if to wonder if his next move might be worth it.

He leaps suddenly into space as I witness a furry missile hurtling

through the air; a feline flyer floating between roof and tree with the

abandonment of a trapeze artist, then to disappear deep inside a clump

of thick leaves and tree branches.

Did this crafty adventurer transport himself over twenty feet just for

the hell of it, or for good reason? It was a question without answer as

I strain to find him in the camouflage of a mighty oak. I hear it before

seeing the commotion, amidst the loud rustle of the fall. I watch him

plummet from the bottom limbs onto grass and unforgiving ground.

His entire body hits the earth with the firmness than a competing

high jumper into a sand box.

Staring at the still alive fur ball beneath the tree, and seeing it move

slowly and carefully, I am convinced that the hunter has thrown

himself into his work. His leap of faith and hunger, successfully

captures a large blue jay in his jaws before instinctively allowing

his body and catch-of-the-day to return to the ground. The huge

feline seemed to have been cushioned by an inborn ability to fall,

feet-first from whatever height.

Refusing to hang around for his indelicate feasting, I push away from

the fence, and begin walking again, shaking my head in disbelief.

I had seen nature at its peak; demonstrating small animal skill

for the basic need of the star performer.

And, as my rewarding stroll continues I imagine the old boy enjoying his find, then licking his paws for a bit of cleanup before retiring to his bed in the corner of a big kitchen full of good smells and daring-do cat dreams.

F. William Broome © 2005
All Rights Reserved

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Reviewed by Sharon Jordan 3/6/2007
Dear Bill,

What happened with the Union soldier? Your story made me interested in the outcome. And it made me remember my own dear grandmother and her farmhouse in Weiser, Idaho. The presence of her was strong and lived long after my dear grandmother passed away. Just a scrape, and in my mind, I can still see her standing in her kitchen, near her wood stove (yes, she kept it even after installing a gas one), and I can smell her cornbread, and hear her laughter and banter with the aunts and my mother. I can see her dark eyes sparkling, always sparkling.

Thank you for the memories.

Reviewed by Christelle Harris 11/5/2006
What a grand sense of past. I like it! The world can't always be filled with flowers and hugs. I like the darkness of it as well, and how it sort of fades into that darkness.
Reviewed by Barbara Terry 2/18/2006
I believe wealth comes in many forms. Love, affection, acceptance, a smile, friends, family, laughter. If you have all of this, or maybe just a few of these, then you have wealth. People judge wealth by how much money a person has, but that person is so poor in spirit, that he or she has no idea what true wealth really is. Thnx for sharing this very endearing and enlightening poem. I reallyliked reading it. I may read it again sometime, because I really do like it. Thnx Bill, for sharing. May the Lord Jesus bless you, and those whom you love, and be with you always, and at your side constantly. With much love in my heart, joy to the world, peace on earth, & ((((((((((MANY WONDERFUL SISTERLY HUGGGGSSSS)))))))))), your friend and sister in the written word, Barbie

"If I have to be this girl in me, Then I have the right to be."

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