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A surprise poem

My mother passed way a few months ago, and it has fallen to me to review the decades of paperwork she had accumulated.

I started out ruthless, glancing at files and tossing them. That didn’t last long. A sense of obligation crept over me, a feeling that I was not fulfilling my duties. Some of these papers were dated from before I was born. Who was I to just toss them aside? How could I not give each one at least some consideration?

So I’ve spent the past months flipping page-by-page through the receipts, tax records, and to-do lists, feeling foolish and more than a little embarrassed that it was taking so long.

Last night, however, tucked between packing lists and mover contracts, I found a little piece of script, written in my mom’s hand:

The time has come, the world has turned.
This lovely home, its keep has earned.
Four children grown and gone their way.
We too must pack. We cannot stay.

This is the first piece of poetry I’ve ever seen from my mother. I love the idea, though, that she was a closet poet, writing verse for nobody but herself. It is one more thing that she and I shared, though neither of us knew it.

Four Children Gone


Posted September 4, 2017 in Life & Writing