Family Commands

By Barbara Meier

Family Commands
a kind  of a Zejel poem

Gather the children on lush green
lawns, scatter the lawn chairs between 
the shade of locusts trees that lean

into conversations. Backyard bards
in islands of aunts, uncles, guards
of family stories, bombard
the cousins, nephews, nieces, keen

to eat but waiting for Bruce to
boil the corn while kids queue
up, Janis directs, Judy shoos,
Jocelyn wipes the toddlers clean.

Turn up the country music loud.
The proud cicadas are not cowed.
Roar the family fight song aloud.
Stand tall like sentential corn seen

now gone. Harvested, planted again,
crops in the field, not grown in vain,
hauled to the elevator then train;
The family, the field, the scene

of lullabies in Nebraska
grow stronger with the task of 
growing a panorama
of reunions that convene, 

grandpas and grandmas, unseen
waiting above the blue jean
sky, heaven’s Mezzanine

photo by Krisztina Papp