Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I look in the mirror and who do I see
A wise old lady looking at me
How do I know she is wise?
It’s that knowing look deep in her eyes!
But who she is I do not know
And where I wonder did the other one go?

The one whose eyes were always so clear
Looking back at me, when I glanced in the mirror
Smiling with ease, dressing with flair
Painting her lips, or brushing her hair?

“ Gone” the old lady’s eyes say
“The girl, then the woman, they both went away
From now on, it’s just me you’ll see”
Surely not, I protest, how can that be?

I search the mirror trying to see,
the girl, then the woman who for so long was me.

Something is different about that look of mine,
the changes are subtle, hard to define.
Feature by feature, my face seems the same
But the mouth is all wrong; perhaps lipstick’s to blame.
I apply lip liner, then a shiny gloss too
But the lips still don’t look right, my smile’s all askew.

Then I see what has happened, no doubt a surprise
When the crows missed the edge of my eyes,
They slipped off my nose,
and had to grab onto my lips with their toes
Leaving behind the track of their feet
And me with a smile that no longer is sweet.

See, says the old lady, what I told you is true
The woman and girl are gone, I'm the new "you"
We have no need for the mirror, you and I
We are free just to be, new things we must try.

Now we can savor the sweet fruits of time
Listen to music, play with rhyme
Sing in the morning, dance in the eve
Take joy in the moment, and try not to grieve.
From all things petty, we now are set free
letting laughter win out, over "poor me".

We may live and love gladly, not counting the cost
Knowing once given, love never is lost,
that a day spent in giving, brings its own gift
a heart full of gladness, with power to lift
any cloud that would hide joy from our sight
bringing peace to our slumbers
as we lay down for the night.

The girl and woman may be here for a day
But a spirit that’s bright does not fade away.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Michael's 40th Birthday

Forty years is a precious block of time
Filled with many moments, both humble and sublime

I remember how it all began……
Mema and Bopa watched from the breezeway as we drove away
“She’s got a lot of grit”, I heard my dad say.
I took strength from his words and hoped he was right
As Gene and I set out on that crisp autumn night.

Our baby was coming, a life born of our love
We prayed God to watch over the child from above
Making him healthy and blessing his life
Protecting him always from danger and strife.

At 7:54 on the following morn
At Emanuel Hospital, Michael Patrick was born.
Bright shining eyes looked up at me
The most beautiful babe you ever did see.

When we showed Scott his new brother, he kissed his cheek,
But the smile he wore was a little weak.
After all he was only two and couldn’t know
That this baby brother would one day grow
Making childhood happy, their lives a good blend
And that one day they would be each other’s best friend.

“Benji, Benji, what you doing Benji?
Are you going up and down?
Are you going round and round?”
Michael made up this song when he was about 4 years old

An imaginative child, Michael was creative in play
If Scott and John ignored him, he just went his own way.
“Watch”, my dad observed, “See what happens now”
Soon Scott and John had left their play
To watch Michael dig with a trowel
Or build a tower out of sticks or take apart a toy to fix.

As student, scout, or altar boy, Michael always did his best
Earning many honors and passing every test.
He had an inner strength that still is his today
Empowering him to set a course and hold it all the way.

Michael’s future was decided one August day
When he stepped on a nail that went in all the way
Two months Michael lay in a hospital bed
As nurses looked worried and the doc shook his head
A specialist was called to see what he could do
After several days of trial, he made a break through
Ordering a new drug and round-the-clock IV
And surgery to clean the bone, Mike’s foot was finally free
Of the awful bug that had caused us all to moan
How blessed the day, when we brought Michael home!

Carpentry class was out, drafting class was in
And so Michael set out on the path before him
Combining his skill with computers and creative design
A career as an Architect suited him fine.
He completed his studies at PSU and UVA
When he earned his Master’s, we all cheered “hooray!”

Michael is not only a master of architectural design
Whatever he creates always is “fine”.
Second best will just never do
It has to be “perfect” before he is through.

Handsome and strong, Mike’s hugs are the best
Now he and Elizabeth have made a nice nest
Filled with love, dogs and guinea pigs too
They hope to know joy all their days through.

That is also my hope, and mother’s prayer
And that God will keep my son always safe in his care.

San Francisco

Sunshine and blue sky, sweet breeze off the Bay --
San Francisco welcomed us to enjoy a week of play.

Piers 33 through 41--We walked along the boardwalk, checking out each one.
Seafood and t-shirts, and bric-a-brac galore.
Ferry boats in blue and gold lined up along the shore.

We traveled to China Town and wonders did we see –
a fortune cookie factory, and shops with Ginseng Tea
Alley ways were narrow. We walked in single file.
Laundry hanging overhead made us stop and smile.

We traveled along the shore of Monterey Bay, -
Stopping at Cannery Row for a few hours stay (Steinbeck Country)
We sampled Chowder and Chocolate, treats for our tummy' --
then we were off to spend our souvenir money.

The Pebble Beach "swells" did not turn us away –
Eyebrows raised, they managed a smile
inviting us to see The Lodge where celebrities dine here in style.....
and to step on the links above the Monterey shore
where Bob and Bing played.. hearing crowds roar.

For $450, we could have played too --
swinging our clubs, our putts sure and true.
But with sighs of regret we had to decline –
Our bus traveled on, we had no more time.

Carmel was next, where the stars shop.
Donna was eager for our bus to stop.
She wanted to find something snazzy,
and soon found a jacket both classic and jazzy.

Next day we boarded a launch out into the bay ---
traveling to Alcatraz just a few miles away.
Touring the prison, we were not alone --
Ghosts walked beside us, chilling our bones.

After the stench of the prison, we sought a sweet scent for our nose....
And that's just what we found when we entered the "Stinking Rose".
An Italian eatery, where garlic filled the air
turned out to be the answer to our prayer.
Music pounded and the food was a delight.
It was time for us to party on this San Francisco night.

Our Italian Queen, Isabelle, soon held center stage,
as our waiter sought to win her, without causing her to rage.
Isabelle chuckled softly and granted him a smile --
while the rest of us cheered, laughing all the while.

Our last day we dined on gourmet cuisine,
as our 1915 train carried us through a landscape serene ---
of grape vines and hill tops and wineries grand.
Napa Valley is truly a beautiful land.
Now when we buy a bottle of wine,
we will know that its origin truly is fine.

Last night in Frisco..Zoe and I dined at a restaurant looking out on the Bay....
It has been a great week, new sights every day
Tomorrow we would leave, but we hated to part --
Just like the song..San Francisco had captured our heart.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Star Power

When “stars” shine down on the lake and tree
Sometimes I think I almost can see
The “star” that shone over Bethlehem long ago
Lighting the way to where we should go.

Now that’s just plain crazy you say
You can’t see” that star”, there’s just no way!
It was over 2,000 years ago
Whatever you see, it’s not its glow!

True, years have past, but “stars” don’t disappear,
They travel around year after year
Somewhere in space is the “Bethlehem Star”
Gliding through galaxies, sending light from afar
So there’s a chance on some “starry” night
You could look up and see the very same light
That shone on the stable and lit up the sky
When the Christ Child was born,
On that day long gone by.

And the very same power that lights up the “stars”
Is not far away, it also is ours
It gives life to our planet….the leaf on the tree…
The bird at your window, and yes, you and me.

God’s truth and love flow in the Light
Bringing Joy to the world, making all bright
Sending Peace to settle deep in our soul
Binding our wounds and making us whole.

The Light that led shepherds and kings
on that “starry” night……..
Beckons us still to do that which is right…..
To care for each other and try to be kind…..
And be not so quick to tell what’s on our mind
But take time to listen and try to forgive
So the Spirit of Christ may be seen still to live.

Monday, September 17, 2007


I seem to have arrived at a new place. I came by way of a hay wagon and ended up in a pumpkin patch.

It wasn’t easy getting here. I had trouble getting on and off the wagon, but when I needed help, hands were there. I took them gratefully.

I think of all the hands I have known….my mother’s small soft hand; my dad’s strong one; my husband’s hand, capable and sure, my sons’ -- young and firm, my granddaughter’s angel’s touch. I have known strangers’ hands as well. All of them have been kind. I am lucky.

Sometimes the wagon ride was bumpy and I had to hang on; other times, it was wonderful and I laughed with joy.

I descended a metal ladder placed beside the wagon. In the distance, the west hills were silhouetted against the sky, a soft shadow of blue. The fields around me stretched far and wide vibrant with orange pumpkins and strewn hay. Harvest time. In the spring new buds peeked out of the soil, in the summer vines reached out and flowers bloomed; now it is pumpkin time.

Like the pumpkin, my cycle, too, is almost done. Will some child race to wrap her arms around me? I am here for the taking. Open me up. I have seeds to share. Time has carved my face, but it can do with painting. Do as you wish. I am yours. We do not have a lot of time you and I. In days or years, my flesh will rot. Not a pretty sight. Pumpkins don’t last forever. But while I am here, I hope to make you smile and give you a taste for that which is sweet.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Mountains and Molehills

Now we don't mean to give you a fright
But there's something about your mammogram that doesn't look right.
Probably nothing, but you never can tell
There is also a chance you may not be well.

SO if you could manage to come over today about 2:00
We'd like to take another look at you.
It might take a while so they can check everything out
Maybe an ultrasound will tell what it's about.

So that's how it happens, I thought
A call on the phone, and you know you've been caught.

I examined my boobs, pressed here and there
But I was unable to feel a lump anywhere.
Still the radiologist wanted to take a new look
Like a fish on the line, I squirmed on the hook.

My mother once said,
"Something will get you and then you'll be dead!"
Was this something being carried in my 38C,
Just getting ready to get rid of me?

My life flashed before me, years quickly spent
But as to their passing, I have no lament.
I've experienced the wonder of living
A miracle true, that allowed me to "be"
And to know God and you.

As the technician placed my left boob in the slammer
I was oddly calm, my heart didn't hammer.
She took several poses, close-ups, too
Then checked her computer making sure she had the right view.

"One more", she said. Covering a small mole with a patch,
She secured my left boob, with a swift hard latch.

"It may take a few moments. You can read if you wish."
I could not read. I could only stare.
In such moments I'm not good at prayer.
I figure God knows,
so it's not up to me to tell him how the wind blows.

The technician came back with smile.
"It was as I suspected all the while.
Finding problems is the mammogram's goal
But in your case, what it found was a mole."

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It Happens

There is a moment when you are alone

Maybe washing the dishes or reading a book

That you stop what you are doing and turn around to look

Listening in silence for sounds once there

The squeak of a chair, a footstep on the stair

That says “I’m here, sweetheart. No need to be blue.

I’ll be there in a minute, right beside you.”

But soon the minute passes, and no presence do you find

Only shadows rummaging in the closet of your mind.