Archive for November, 2008



When we were young, you and I

You took a golden band

And as you pledged your love to me

You placed it on my hand

Then you took me in your arms

And you whispered in my ear

“I’ll take care of you forever

And I’ll always love you, Dear”

I felt the throbbing of your heart

As you drew me to your chest

It beat in perfect harmony

With the quickening in my breast


The promise that you made that night

With vows that you’d be true

Are the vows that I also pledged

As I gave myself to you

I thought we’d be forever, Dear

But youth made me naive

For dreams and hopes are only words

Unless you both believe

I meant the words we spoke that day

I thought you meant them, too

And perhaps you did, for a time

Then you met someone new

And then your body, heart, and soul

With bonds we shared as one

Were given to that someone new

And you and I were done


My love for you was constant

And grew, as time passed by

But yours was weak and faithless

And so, was doomed to die

A wall now stands before us

And behind its massive door

A marriage lies in ruins

That no one can restore

It’s just an age old story

Of bonds that never grew

Because one’s love was shallow

The other’s, deep and true 


7/23/73      Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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That time of year again



Fierce wind is harsh upon the land . . . .

new snow is cold and deep,

the willows sway and weep.

September’s passed the torch, as planned . . . .

frost atop frozen ground,

as earth sleeps without sound,

for winter now assumes command.


9/9/04         Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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Her hair a braided, silver bun

With wisps that hung astray.

Laugh lines cornered impish eyes

Of warmest feather-gray.


Her cheeks were plump and nature-rouged.

She had a dimpled chin.

The corners of her mouth turned up

In ever present grin.


Voluminous cotton granny-dress

That almost swept the floor

And unlaced high-top tennis shoes

Are what she always wore.


She smelled of spice and gingerbread

And tasty things to eat,

And in her apron pockets

We could always find a treat.


She’d shuffle ‘round her kitchen,

Cooking everything she found.

As our hunger made us salivate,

It was hard to wait around.


So she had us pare the apples,

That she would use that day,

Then shell some peas and snap some beans,

So we weren’t in her way.         


She never failed to show her love

With great big hug and kiss.

Then entertain with jokes and songs,

So visits there were bliss.


She stays alive within our minds,

And I remember well

How we treasured all those visits

To the home of dear Aunt Nell.


5/6/96         Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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Memories of our old farmhouse,

Upon a wooded hill,

And Thanksgiving dinners there,

Linger with me still.

Our family numbered nine back then

But our table seated more,

For we made room for extra guests . . .

Ours was an open door.


Around our huge oak table,

We each pulled up a chair.

Then Mama said the blessing

As we bowed heads in prayer.

Our table wasn’t fancy,

For nothing ever matched . . .

Odds and ends of tableware

And a cloth that was patched.


We drank from pretty jelly jars,

Each different in design.

We didn’t need fine crystal;

We liked our jars just fine.

When we were short of dishes,

We’d use some old cake tins.

We called them plates with sideboards

They always brought on grins.


Our garden supplied our table.

Mom’s canning gave us more.

And we were rich in happiness

With wonderful rapport.

Aromas in the old farm house

Foretold great things to eat,

For everything that Mama served

Was welcomed as a treat


There were platters of baked chicken,

Roasted to a turn,

And warm slabs of home baked bread,

With butter I helped churn;

There were mounds of mashed potatoes,

Green-beans, corn, and peas;

Dressing baked with chicken bits;

And cranberries cooked to please.


Brown gravy made from giblets,

Golden candied yams,

Pumpkin, peach, and apple pies,

And homemade harvest jams;

Big cups of steaming coffee

And milk from our own cow;

Tasty home-bottled root beer . . .

I wish I had some now.


After dinner was over,

Dad played his violin.

My brother played his old guitar.

A guest played mandolin.

Then other members of Dad’s band,

With their families in tow,

Dropped by for pie and coffee . . .

And to practice for their show.


That old house rang with laughter,

And music filled the air.

The women discussed recipes,

And kids ran everywhere.

But the best part of Thanksgiving

Was the way that we all cared,

And the love that filled our old house . . .

The best thing that we shared.


11/16/88 – Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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We’ve all been there



My wife is ill. My car won’t start.”

“The dog tore up my schedule chart.”

“My back’s too bad to do my part.”


   .   .   .   .


You may be feeling quite inspired,

But those excuses sound quite tired,

“So I must tell you, Friend, you’re fired!”



9/8/94            Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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My favorite chair



Hello, old easy chair of mine

You sure are worn by wear.

I marvel at your comfort zone

When I am seated there.


For years I’ve snuggled to your warmth.

I’ve stained you with my tears,

But you’ve also heard my laughter,

And hugged me through my fears.


Sometimes I have to vacate pets

Reposed upon your lap,

So I can sit and read a book

Or take a little nap.


You list a bit to one side now . . .

You’re not a pretty sight.

But, oh, I favor sitting there,

For you fit my frame just right.


Yes, old chair, we’ve weathered years,

And I needn’t wonder why

Your  arms have been my refuge,

As the years go rushing by.


9/14/03     Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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