When her stomach is unsettled,
Momma must stay at home.
When Summer issues his stern command,
Then we will swelter in hot weather.
When one grandson arrives,
He must walk the boundaries
Of the property of the camp,
Greeting the young trees
And mourning the ones that have fallen.
When feet approach the pond,
Then a fishing pole will be in the hand.
When the call to bless the food and family comes,
Then the time for talk will cease.
When the ladies turn a camera toward you,
You had better stand and smile.
When little Lennon stands before you with her bike,
Then someone will push her round,
Whether Daddy Kyle or Granny Sug or young Cousin Cooper.
When our patriarch Raiford decreed
Long ago the gathering of the Walton kin to meet
Once a year, then most joyfully
We obey, in flood or frost or scorching heat.
Walt Garlington is a chemical engineer turned writer (and, when able, a planter). He makes his home in Louisiana and is editor of the 'Confiteri: A Southern Perspective' web site.