28
Aug

Scrapbook Poetry

Just ran across an old notebook containing some of the poetry I wrote over the years. I don’t claim to be a poet but a few of these were rather nice, so thought I share. Since we just celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary in June, this one seemed appropriate, though it was written many years ago.

The Bride’s Prayer

I Pray God grants me 60 years, a lifetime yet to live. My life to be a tribute to all the love I’ll give.

60 Years is all I need, if I can live it as your wife. I know that we’ll have trials, and days of stress and strife.

Yet knowing how I love you is all the strength I’ll need to face the great uncertain and triumph, yes, indeed.

60 years. Just long enough to share the plans I’ve made. To cook the meals and clean the house and picnic in the lanes.

To pull the weeds and scrub the floor, to bandage up the knees. To wipe the tears and tuck in bed; to rake up all the leaves.

To chase the kids and wash the cat and clean up all the mess that you and they will make, for I confess.

I see my life surround you and the home that we shall make. I pray God grants me 60 years. That’s how long that it should take.

We’ll spend the time together; the rest of our whole life. My life will then become complete if I’ve lived it as your wife.

Then one day from Heaven’s gates, I’ll ponder, when they’ve laid me to my rest. The years I spent as your wife, were certainly the best.

FISHIES IN THE BROOK

If I was a fishie in a brook and swam around all day

I’d never have to think what worries people so.

And worry, work, or ponder the responsibilities of life

that seem to plague most humans that I know.

 

If I was a fishie in the stream and slept in the sun

I’d never have to buy a car, wash a dish, or sweep the floor.

I’d never have to work, never pay a bill

Never have to mow the law or watch the taxes soar.

 

If I was a fishie in the sea, I’d never have to shoot a gun

Never have to leave my home, and never wonder why.

Never kill another soul, never learn to hate.

Never have to go to war, or watch a young man die.

 

But, I’m just a fishy in a bowl, and swim in circles every day

Time to ponder the mysteries of life and think the higher thoughts fishies get to think.

I’ll bet if you really understood the life that fishies lead

You’d want to be a fishies too…even swimming in the sink.

 

Telll me if you've ever found old stories or poetry you wrote many years ago.

21
Aug

Daddy's Big Hand

In 1950, I was a first grader, one of the first to attend school in the county’s newest rural school house. Two days a month, the yellow Sonoma County Public Library bookmobile visited the school and we were allowed to select a library book! Without today’s technology of televisions, computer games, videos or CD’s, a book was our gateway to another world of fantasy, imagination, and excitement.

We lined up at the bookmobile door in two rows. Squirming, wiggling and chattering, barely able to contain our excitement, we waited our turn to enter the truck. Finally, it was my turn.

The librarian directed me to the two shelves dedicated to beginning readers, and I made my selection. The librarian lectured me about my responsibility to care for library property, and wrote down my name and the book’s title. She tucked a small card into the back cover. The book was mine to enjoy until the bookmobile returned.

Triumphantly, I carried my book down the steps and flashed a smug smile at the fidgeting children still standing in the hot sun. Their jealous gaze followed me into the shade of a nearby tree where I sat down to read.

The book was a treasure, sent to me personally by the President of the United States, who owned the Sonoma County Public Library System and personally sent out the yellow bookmobiles to rural schools, as a symbol of truth, justice and the American Way. This, I knew, in my heart of hearts.

I walked home from school that day, carrying my lunch pail, sweater and my precious library book under my arm. One of my companions suggested we take a different route home. Though this was against my mama’s rules, the chanting of “chicken” cinched my decision to agree.

Several blocks from the school, our path brought us to a deep PG&E worker’s hole, loosely covered by boards. Our leader pranced across the boards and “double-dog dared” us to follow. Another child crossed the teetering boards successfully.

I was afraid, but due to a “double-dog dare,” I had no choice but to give in to peer pressure. Fighting back tears, I clutched my lunch pail, sweater and library book, closed my eyes, and took a precarious step onto the wobbly boards. Flailing my hands outward to keep my balance, my precious book tumbled down between the boards into the dark hole, and surely, into the pits of hell. Horrified, we crouched over the hole and peered into the darkness; surely at least a hundred feet deep. I could barely see the pages flipping gently back and forth. The hole was too deep, and too challenging for our six-year-old minds to comprehend. My precious library book was gone!

I contemplated the outcome of this catastrophe. The President of the United States had personally commissioned the book into my hands, and I had failed him…. miserably. Someone was going to jail. I felt sure they wouldn’t put a six-year-old in jail, but if not me, then who? Suddenly, it became all too clear. They would put Daddy in jail because I was his kid and somebody had to pay for my grievous blunder.

Tears of regret, shame and panic plagued my walk home, where I hid in the closet for hours, despite my mother’s pleas to discuss the problem. I sat in the darkness, crying, imagining what would become of us. Mama would have to go to work. We would be poor, and everyone would point fingers at me, knowing I was the reason my Daddy was in jail.

When Daddy came home that evening, it took him about four seconds to grab me by the collar and pulled me out of the closet. Then, he whacked my bottom. Daddy always could get to the seat of a problem in about four seconds. He bellowed, “What the heck is going on?”

Between tears and trembling, I confessed my disobedience to come straight home and how I’d lost my library book down a hundred foot deep hole. I decided not to mention the part about him going to jail. He'd know as soon as the library police showed up to arrest him.

After dinner, Daddy drove me back to the gigantic, monstrous hole that yawned beneath the boards at least a hundred feet deep, the hole that had swallowed my precious book, the hole that was the cause of his impending incarceration, the ruination of my family, and my everlasting shame.

“Stand back, now,” He said. Daddy leaned over the yawning cavern, reached down with his long arm…and pulled out the book!

Things were easier back then, when I was six years old. No matter what happened, it seemed that I could always count on Daddy to solve enormous, life- shattering problems with one sweep of his big hand. I remember that I snuggled against his shoulder as we drove home, with my very own library book clutched tightly to my chest.

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