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THE LIFE I WOULD NOT TRADE

When I open closets of my mind
I find the greatest wealth
Wonderful memories from my youth
Now tucked upon a shelf

Although we were Depression poor
We never lacked for fun
For there were countless childhood games
And then, when we were done

We’d make some skillet-butterscotch
Its flavor can’t be topped
And sometimes we’d make great big bowls
Of corn we shelled, then popped

Our toys were few and simple then
With some of them homemade
But the fun derived from such toys
Left memories that won’t fade

Our fare was beans and cornbread
Soups and stews and such
But it all tasted wonderful
Because of Mama’s touch

We didn’t know that we were poor
Nor did we even care
We were happy with what we had
Living the word, share

Of course there were some rough spots
But we’d all rally ’round
In support of one another
No truer love was found

Our life was filled with happiness
And were the good times weighed
Nothing else would quite compare
To that life I would not trade.

9/1/91 Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

2’nd … Indiana NPD 1991

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    AUNT NELL

 

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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