“Belief is as hard as a hickory nut
that cracked holds many mansions.”
—Pat Schneider

If my belief were a hickory nut
I’d keep it safe in my pocket
easy to find with fumbling fingers.
When challenged
I’d take it out
say here, see this.
This is what I believe.

But my belief won’t be contained,
won’t stay in pockets
any more than the green gloves
lost last week,
or milkweed fluff
or dry oak leaves
or yellow butterflies.

V. Jane Schneeloch is a retired English teacher, poet, and playwright living in Springfield, Mass.

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