Early This Morning
by Mary Audrey Kneipp

Early this morning I dreamed I went to heaven.
It wasn’t what I’d expected. Heaven
was my Grandpa’s kitchen.
The wood-burning stove was cold,
no need for fire, and the cane-bottom chair
still sat nearby, waiting for Grandpa
to set me down and wipe my sleepy face
with that rough damp rag he had.
The kitchen door in my dream
lay open to our big back porch,
where the water bucket, dipper in it,
waited on the shelf.
Grandpa wasn’t there.

Only his love was there,
and it filled the kitchen, the porch,
the bucket and the air itself.
The bliss I lived in as a child
and never knew it
gathered itself around me.
It felt like music.
It felt like a long-lost hug.

Early this morning heaven
welcomed me home.

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