Ode to The Shaker Hymn

by Anne Waters Green

Sing it anyhow, I said, when my daughter
quibbled it just wasn’t seemly
for a wedding. I, the bride, if an old one,
and my groom, no younger, relished
the valley of love and delight, had grasped

gifts of being simple and free, found
them worth singing about. No matter
she could belt out “Ave Maria” without
rehearsal time. We knew the Shakers
told it true, at least about the place

just right. We couldn’t buy the celibacy,
but oh, the tune, the melody. The music’s
trek, England to Maine, Copland to Ma,
Graham’s ballet, Crane’s poem, Krauss’s vocals,
all those variations mirrored our own long

separate journeys to simplicity, where
by turning we’d come round right. Sing it!

Anne Green worked many years as a lawyer and administrative judge. Retirement has brought new joys: a second marriage, many grandchildren, and the time to write poetry. She and her husband, Jim, live on beautiful Mount Hebron in Henderson County, North Carolina. Each day brings small gifts of grace.

About Ode to the Shaker Hymn—I wrote this poem as an expression in verse of my reaction to a piece of music that resonated with me.