Home Town Tales

My First Easter

March 31st, 2015

My First Easter

Great grandmother in church

Jim Beam was kept in the barn. Drinking was devil’s
work. It was Grandma’s conviction, confident
as Grandpa’s need to sow beans today. This Easter she’ll harvest
faithfulness for her children and Church. Bending low
to kiss her cheek, lilac scents float, lingering
as she looks in the mirror to arrange her hat. On the white
dress is a lavender orchard, violet veins so thin,
so delicate, a halo forms around its edge. At church the pastor

praises the risen word in robes of white and gold
where glimpses of decorated eggs are hiding
among the threads. The eggs will have to wait
for faith, Grandma and God’s word. Beans
planted, Grandpa will not wait his ceremony. In his
robe of bibbed, blue, denim overalls and a miter
of straw, on his knees he hides colored eggs,
his rite of faithfulness. So begins our rituals.

A kneeling rail isolates the altar where white
lilies frame an empty cross looking down
on the disciples’ images beneath. We take
the right aisle. Heads under Easter hat’s pause
to chat or nod, then we all proceed
to the front pews. The hymnal is scarcely

open when the organ begins. Down the left aisle
golden robes proclaim, He arose, He arose. At the altar
they become angels against white clouds, rapt. I jingle
the quarter in my pocket for the collection plate, and barely notice
the hymn’s end, the pastor’s “Amen”. With a nudge

then a poke Grandma points. The collection
plate has passed us by. She stares at my quarter
still in my hand. She points to the aisle,
“now go.” Newly polished shoes reflect bonnets
as I race the plate to the rail and think of Grandpa
resting, reflecting on his work as I make
my first deposit in the bank of God.