Little Mr. Yellow Shirt by Mildred Grant

 There had been a couple of times when choir participants had been visited on stage during a performance by their child who didn’t appreciate being left behind in the congregation, but this didn’t appear to be one of those times.

 About three years old, dressed in brown corduroy pants and a neon yellow sweat shirt, he wandered into my range of vision at my left. He seemed oblivious that he might be doing something unusual or inappropriate. Neither the choir director, waving his arms, the accompanist’s vigorous playing, nor the stage full of adults singing full-bore, seemed to faze Yellow Shirt.

Up the steps of the stage, taking a casual left, he inserted himself into the front row of the tenor section of the choir. With complete self-assurance, he retrieved a chocolate cookie from his pants pocket and nibbled off a sizable bite. He stayed, munching contentedly, for a few minutes, and then wandered down the steps, carefully, one at a time, taking a detour beside the accompanist. Cookie remains back in his pants pocket, he put his hands in the air, working his fingers as though playing the keyboard. Continuing his journey, as the congregation let out a communal sigh of relief, Little Yellow Shirt started a leisurely stroll up the next aisle over from where I was sitting. Suddenly, he was scooped up by an older boy and whisked out of sight.

Glimpses of Heaven by Janet Keyes


We have glimpses of heaven

by ancient prophets foretold,

revealed along miles of fall hillsides-

a tiny percent of its glory

in shades of red, yellow, and gold.

Red oak and fiery red maple,

sumac and burning bush too,

bring us bursts of bright scarlet bold.

Autumn in Massachusetts by Janet Keyes


We laugh as leaf-peepers stop traffic to gawk-

and then we indulge in some gawking ourselves.

Each morning brings fresh bursts of color to leaves,

as if they were painted by nocturnal elves.

The folks who have lived here for most of our lives

grab cameras and photograph lots of bright trees.

We know it will last for just a few weeks,

and will fade to November, then winter’s deep freeze.