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Cypress Hearts

By John I. Blair

My motherís childhood home
Was built of cypress wood.

Itís said the hearts of cypress trees
Will last for generations
And shrug off rain and storm.

After his first wife died
Grandpa wed as surrogate
One it seemed had so forgotten love
That Ruth, two sisters and a brother
Were moved at her demand
Into a pair of added rooms
And warned to raise themselves.

(I know that grandpa thought as well
To shield them from abuse.)

Betty, Mary, Ruth and Jack,
Might have withered there
Or turned to bitter fruit;
But in that exile place,
Forced to find their inner song,
They remembered how to laugh,
How to dance, to play,
To kiss their sweethearts
And their children
And their childrenís children.

Years later,
When I brought my son to see this house,
The cypress walls were just as solid
As the day that they were made.

©2005 John I. Blair


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