God, the world stood still for Easter,
no Walmart strolls for fun after church,
no super sales at the mall!
You were lucky they had milk left at the 7-11,
to make it to the deli by noon!
We got up early for our chocolate bunnies
(one year blinded by my brother before breakfast),
chosen not for the taste, but their fascinating shape,
rabbit fur, sometimes a cart molded into their waxy shells,
silky pressed daisy pasted onto their necks,
and jellybeans eaten in order of preference:
green, yellow, orange, red, sharp pink, black,
always one lost in the cellophane grass
until next year.
Breakfast was eggs we dyed the day before,
R2-D2, or just a crayoned name,
stripes or stickers on impatient pastels,
a few muddied experiments,
some tucked into a braided wreath of bread.
Then into new outfits for church,
my small rosebud bonnet early on,
sheer white shell covered with gauzy flowers
that hung around for years, then went away,
navy pantsuit, black for optimists,
and always new shoes, black velvet wedges when I was older,
strappy white sandals when the weather held.
And sometimes spring was with us by Easter and
sometimes not, but we always gambled to dress the part,
though some years winter coats covered
sky blue, peach pink granny gowns.
And our church had Easter in it every day,
giant paper butterflies hung from the clean rafters,
white and orange and yellow blocks of glass
glowing in the morning light and sometimes sun.
Hymns we knew all the words to on Easter,
jiggling the plate with envelopes of change.
Dinner was pot roast or sauerbraten,
Sunday dinner where we all behaved,
sat politely at the picnic table we kept for dining
in the little kitchen, fire at my mother's back,
spoke to each other as if we'd just met,
wondering how to proceed,
the promise of a new meal
broken by the last crescent crust.
And dessert was solitary relief in front of the TV,
Davey and Goliath faded with the noon and the robin,
shoes and long dresses discarded,
descent into puddings and cakes and all heaven,
Peeps silent in the common basket,
bonnets laid aside in the dark.