Monday, January 9, 2012

Rags


This is the apron she was wearing that day
On which she wiped happy tears
When she read the post-card he sent from New York
They had not slept apart in years
But that time it just could not be helped
Times were desperate and hard
He would have lost his job otherwise
So he sent her that special post-card

This is the dress she wore each Sunday
To church,faithfully, for years and years
It seemed the children and life needed money
And fabric after the war, was dear
But she never complained; though she could have, he knows
As he holds the dress to his lips
And inhales the rose-scent of lost, good old days
Between frail, trembling finger-tips

This is the hat she was wearing that night
When he asked ‘will you marry me?’
And her laughter trickles, winsome and light
Over his April memory
The shoes that she wore on their wedding day
He tenderly takes from the shelf
One room in an, 'old-age home' leaves only space
Enough for what he uses himself

…at the thrift-store he sets the bags on the counter
And says, ‘these belonged to my wife’
The clerk hurriedly shakes out the precious contents
…these remnants of a cherished life
If she had looked up she would have seen tears
From the old man who set down those bags
But she only glanced momentarily before
She tossed them in a bin marked ‘rags’

Janet Martin

A little while ago someone left a comment (anonymously)
On the poem Old Man. Her comment plagued me incessantly and I knew sometime the moment would be right to write it.
This morning I began pulling phrases together, that I had collected in my thoughts, but it wasn’t working THEN,
I read the latest post on Lilacs and Lavender (a sweet little note) I wrote it in 10 minutes!
Thank-you Megan, the anonymous comment…and God!

9 comments:

  1. This is what I think of as a "speaking" poem, in that it speaks of humanity, the painful little corners and awful reminders that life is short and relationships tenuous, and that we seldom take the time to fully realize the joy of what we have.
    Thank you for sharing your insight on RT this Monday.

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  2. Kerry,
    thank-you for your visit and wise reminder.

    I'm going outside to enjoy an unseasonably sunny and beautiful day.

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  3. Janet- This is so touching and beautiful... written straight from the heart I can tell. The footnote made this all the more special.

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  4. Lovely!!! You're welcome...:)

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  5. Oh, this is so very sad, Janet. To think that this man's treasures ended in a bag called 'rags.' It truly breaks my heart. He would have been devastated if he knew.

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  6. Such a poignant and beautifully portrayed story, Janet. I want to give that old man a hug.

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  7. Gripping and powerful. The ending squeezes my heart!

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  8. Thank-you sincerely to each one of you.

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  9. Thank you Janet, for letting me know which poem was connected with 'my' postcard... I was brought to tears at the end..

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Thank you for your visit to this porch. I'd love to hear if or how this post/poem touched you!