These days, I really shield my skin
from the sun.  When I do yard work,
it’s 60 SPF sunscreen on my face,
a floppy straw hat,
long-sleeved shirt, long pants,
gardening gloves.  I laugh

at how much I now resemble
my mother’s cousin, Louisa,
from the Mennonite side
of the family.  True to their beliefs,
she wore plain black, ankle-length
dresses (probably homemade),
black laced up boots,
and a sun bonnet tied
under her chin.  Witch-like,
in my imagination, even though
she would smile and joke
with my mom as we strolled
down the rows of her neatly tended
garden, picking out perfect
green beans or asparagus
or canteloupe or strawberries.
Still, I felt thankful

our side of the family was
Methodist.  Mom wasn’t about to hide
her light under a bushel.  She wore
bright, flower-print sundresses,
a string of pearls at her neck,
pearl clip-on earrings,
and red lipstick.  As a kid,
that choice couldn’t have been
more clear to me.

Seems the devil was in the flash.