1. Ruby

From the recording Ruby


Ruby stands beneath summer stars
Hangs laundry on a line out in the dark
Bare feet planted in the grassy yard
At times like this she feels right at home
And just before dusk she went for a drive
Past the city limit, near the county line
To watch shadows stretch in golden light
Across the fields and hills of pale limestone

Bread is always rising in her kitchen
Her window sill holds photographs and stones
She paints lines, designs, writes and stitches
A tapestry of color, light and poem
And everything is beautiful
Ruby makes things beautiful
Everything is beautiful
Everywhere she goes

Ruby takes the highway on her way to teach
Coffee on the dashboard, notebook on the seat
She watches morning rise in gentle scenes
She can see poetry in simple things
Violet blossoms next to new green leaves
Tall grass in wind moving like the sea
Black birds perched on limbs of winter trees
And when they rise in flight, her heart sings

And if I had a daughter, I’d give her your name
Beautiful jewel, part earth and part flame
Nothing else shines quite the same
Sweet sister, your spirit’s too vast for my words
To contain

Ruby kneels between garden rows
Fingers in the cool soil down below
Placing roots and seeds where they will grow
In a cotton skirt she works upon the land
She is sun and wind, thaw and freeze
The smell of rain and the taste of wheat
She’s wood and clay and blaze of autumn leaves
And her heart’s as wide as the sky that never ends