Joyce Enzor Maust

The Day I Left Home

my father taught me names of weeds

the mock morning glory of the field
whose roots survive the harshest droughts

the airbrushed purple flowers of the hearts-ease that bloom anywhere

because it can adapt

the willow-like leaves and yellow flowers of the evening primrose
whose seeds last in the soil for seventy years

but it’s burdock I sought that morning

forming prickly spheres into bracelets and necklaces

they pierced my fingers as I unhooked the interwoven burrs of nature’s jewelry

and formed them into a fairy house that I left
on a whitewashed windowsill where sun will dry dew and splinters will form


When young, I sang the songs of my people.
Hymns etched in my mind.
Our voices – the only instruments.

We sang at…
Sunday church services
youth Singings
family reunions

We sang while…
walking the fields
doing chores
rocking babies

When two or more were gathered…
we sang.

I sang soprano, alto, tenor, and falsetto.
I sang in the Ladies’ Chorus.
I sang in quartets.

Now my hair has turned gray my eyes a paler blue
and as I drive the gravel roads of home,
the radio plays Leaning On the Everlasting Arms.
I struggle to find that sweet spot of harmony,
but my voice has lost its way.

Joyce Enzor Maust hails from the land of moss-covered boulders, mountain laurel, and state forests. Family, faith, and freedom to roam were a way of life on her parent’s dairy farm. She now resides in Dover, DE. With degrees in English and Physics, the daughter of a Conservative Mennonite bishop, mother to exceptional sons, and a wife to a walking history encyclopedia – she enjoys reading, discussing, and writing about almost any subject. Her works have been published in Broadkill Review and Gargoyle.