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BOOKS & THE CULTURE I Woman Waiting for Heat-Relief Assistance Overcome by Record Breaking Heat I couldn’t stand no more, even though I wore soft shoes. We got in line when the sun was coming up. People kept saying it was going to rain, as if they were blind. I wore these soft white shoes, but I would stand ankle deep in mud right now squirrel’s hands for some rain. my aunt used to say she wanted to come back My friend tells me they’re giving away window units a tiger in her next life and money my father said he would return an eagle here. But I couldn’t make it to the door. my mother preferred something small and simple a sparrow Been standing out here since daybreak, up and down the line people kept saying, rain. grandmother crossed over without ever saying but recently I have spotted her I sweated through my best blouse, she is a squirrel living close by wanted to look nice once I got inside. she measures acorns that resemble thimbles and raises mast to scissor teeth But I couldn’t stand no more, even though I wore these soft white shoes. already she senses the heartbeats Mary Agnes Dalrymple of life continuing beyond her when she sewed, the exact gestures of my grandmother’s hands were like a squirrel’s examining hickories and walnuts. she did not cut thread so long it tangled, for she knew its umbilical weight the cloth in her hands acquired vibrato, each stitch pulsed with apt and supple care she did not have to say I will return a squirrel she knew I would recognize her hands Mobi Warren Mary Agnes Dalrymple is editor and illustrator of Blue Violin journal. A native Texan, she lives in Huffman on Desirable Lane, one block over from Success: “Our neighborhood used to be a pecan orchard and the streets are named after various kinds of pecans.” She is a graduate of U.H.-Clear Lake, and her poems have appeared in many journals. SEPTEMBER 8, 2000 Mobi Warren lives in San Antonio, where she has worked as a teacher and resident story-teller for the New Age/Circle School and the San Antonio Museum of Art, among others. Currently she teaches fourth grade in the San Antonio I.S.D. She writes, “My grandmother was an extraordinary woman and memories of her stitching and her stories are some of my dearest treasures.” Naomi Shihab Nye THE TEXAS OBSERVER 25