Posts Tagged ‘prom’


I found a little chest today
Covered with years of dust
The hinges were bent and broken
The hasp covered with rust

I held it for just a moment
Then brushed away a tear
I knew its precious contents were
Treasures from yesteryear

The lid squeaked as I opened it
‘Twas closed so long ago
I lifted away some tissue
And saw Mom’s cameo

A glass ink pen of Grandma’s
Mom’s hanky, edged in lace
A beautiful jeweled hairpin
That held my hair in place

An old tintype of Grandpa
When he was just a lad
A bookmark with the Lord’s Prayer
That once belonged to Dad

A pressed corsage of rosebuds
That once was pink and white
A small dance card of autographs
From Senior Prom night

A younger brother’s Purple Heart
What anguish that had wrought
A pin that bears my old nickname
That a friend had bought

A celluloid ring and pendant
(Treasures my brother made)
Some charms my sisters gave to me
When I was in tenth grade

A narrow piece of ruffling
From my wedding dress
A 1940-D penny
(It brought luck, I guess)

Wee lovebirds from my wedding cake
In the box that held my ring
A beautiful golden locket
Now hanging from a string

Remembrance in a lock of hair
Carried throughout the war
By my handsome soldier husband
When he was twenty-four

Some precious little ringlets
In shades of yellow-gold
Mementos from my children’s hair
When they were one year old

Some love letters tied with ribbon
A valentine or two
Some cards the children made by hand
That say, “Mom, I love you.”

A treasured memory of my son
(A pin in blue and gold)
He bought it with some money earned
When he was ten years old

A pin my youngest daughter made
Twenty-eight years ago
And from the other’s light brown curls
A faded yellow bow

Each token tucked within the chest
Recalled a memory
The scenes were played across my mind
In stirring reverie

I closed my eyes in memory
Again, I dried some tears
Then closed the chest, and put it back
Where it had been for years

5/12/86 Phyllis DeWitt-VanVlec

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Tonight is prom night for some of our local schools and, while I wrote this poem about a birthday, it holds even more truth for prom night.  Be safe out there and don’t drink and drive.  No mother ever wants to get that call from the police.


     WHY ME, MOM


It was his birthday party.

They were first to arrive.

He told his girl he’d promised Mom

He would not drink and drive.


So soda was their drink of choice

Just that, and nothing more

And when the party ended

They headed for the door.


They climbed into his old blue car

And watched his friends depart.

He noticed some were staggering,

Bringing fear to his sad heart.


“I’m glad I listened to you, Mom.”

He whispered ‘neath his breath,

Because my friends are drunk tonight,

And could be facing death.”


“I kept my promise to you, Mom.”

He spoke aloud with pride.

Then drove away to meet his fate,

His girlfriend at his side.


Then sometime later, on a curve,

He saw a drunken friend.

They met head-on in violence,

Just slightly ‘round the bend.


Near the crash, upon the ground,

The injured totaled five.

Someone heard him whisper, “Mom,

I did not drink and drive.”


His blood now stains the highway red,

And in his labored breath,

The lad called to his Mother,

That ‘twas HE who now faced death.


“Oh, Mom, why am I lying here

In such horrendous pain,

As blood flows freely from my wounds

And mixes with the rain?”


“My drunken friend is walking ‘round.

I can’t help wonder why?

And now he’s looking down at me,

Too drunk to even cry.”


“Oh no, dear God, it cannot be!

I just heard someone say,

‘This boy is hurt so badly,

He won’t see light of day’!”


“Why is it me that dies, Mom?

I’m not the one to blame.

I was not drunken at the wheel,

A good friend wears that shame.”


“Come quickly, Mom, I need you,

To kiss before I die.

I kept my promise to you, Mom.

Yet this is my goodbye.”


“Write on my stone, Here Lies a boy

Taken in his prime,

By the thoughtless act of a good friend,

Drunk driving just one time.


2/27/97       Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck


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