If Heaven

by Lori Negridge Allen

If heaven’s a place, it’s Las Vegas,
where all we’ve lost in credit and cash 
is of zero significance.

If heaven’s a tree, it’s ginkgo biloba,
a three thousand year-old living fossil
whose strength defied Hiroshima.

If heaven’s a pie, it’s lemon meringue,
so sweet our tongues might ache
if not for that note of tang.

If heaven’s a song, it’s Happy Birthday
sung off key, on key, in every key,
by former enemies.

If heaven’s a vehicle, it’s a tandem bicycle
built not for two but for two times infinity,
with angel cards in the spokes.

If heaven’s a playing card, it’s the two of diamonds,
always reminding us
that for a full deck, nothing is useless.

If heaven’s a book, it’s the Bible’s Psalms,
crossing out verses of desires and curses,
highlighting thanks and praise.

If heaven’s a month, it’s October,
when the growing season’s almost over
everywhere but here.

Lori Negridge Allen recently moved from a house overlooking a stream flowing into a small lake to a condo overlooking a river flowing into a sound. Most days find her walking the beach, wondering at tides.

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