Mrs. Cummins by Matthew Robb Brown In Baptist Sunday school she planted psalmody. If I troubled her, she didn’t let me know. I was glad when they said unto me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.” Autistic, I seemed to pay no attention to the stories; lined up large cardboard blocks, stacked them. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord our God; enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. I drew her attention to the tall oaks, maples, and elms that filled our wide window. I was likely to do that kind of thing. She said to me, “God has put them there for us to enjoy.” How green stars unfolded in vertical branches, how concentrated. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth. The time of the singing of birds has come. Autistic, I appeared to pay no attention to the stories; but I can't forget Zacchaeus, hiding in a Sycamore, climbing down from his tree to eat with Jesus.
Matthew Robb Brown earned the Master of Fine Arts in poetry from Ashland University in August, 2016, having worked closely with Angie Estes as thesis mentor, and attending Ashland’s first residency in Paris with Angie in 2015. He graduated from Saginaw Valley State University, and has been writing and publishing poetry for 48 years. He has been married to Kay Elizabeth Brown since 1982, and has a daughter, a son, and two grandsons. He and Kay live on the Maumee River in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Due to high-functioning autism, Matthew has not been involved in professional or academic careers, but has held steady employment in labor occupations.