Another Place Called Heaven

I’m sitting on the front-porch steps,
barefoot on a late-summer afternoon,
dog lying beside me,
his golden fur luxurious in my hands.
The lawn, freshly mown,
fills my nose with a sweet smell
and I can’t hear an engine anywhere,
only the sound of you in the kitchen
chopping garden onions for supper.
A cool breeze from the north
keeps the mosquitoes away
and a hundred helicopter dragonflies,
indigo blue and fire engine red,
maneuver through the air in impossible patterns.
Bumblebees and migrating monarchs
flit between marigolds and black-eyed susans.
The birches and maples show the first hint
of impending autumn glory.
A cardinal, three raucous bluejays
and a flock of goldfinches
finish the sunflower seeds in the feeders
as a small red squirrel with a white belly
chatters angrily down at them from a whispering aspen.
We have plans for making love tonight.
It’s hard to believe in another place called heaven
that you must die to enter.

—Larry Schug


BIO: Larry Schug is retired after a life of various kinds of physical labor and currently volunteers as a writing tutor at the College of St. Benedict Writing Center and as a naturalist at Outdoor U. (St. John’s University. He lives with his wife, dog, and three cats near a large tamarack bog in St. Wendel Twp., Minnesota. His seventh book of poems is At Gloaming from North Star Press. His website is