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LEAH50S JPG

This poem is in progress. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on this one.

PRECIOUS MOMENTS
(From My Youth)

In memory of my Mother
I write this little poem
On how she nurtured all us kids
And made our house “feel” home

There were many happy moments
When we’d sit on the swing
I’d ask for all my favorite songs
While urging her to sing

And she’d sing those old-time ditties
That so amused us all
We’d ask to hear them many times
When we were very small

Other poignant memories
That I would never trade
Are Sunday noon’s family fun
And countless games we played

We learned to be good losers
But gracious winners, too
That quarreling settled nothing
Advice we all found true

She gave us all a chance to win
And when the games were done
We made fudge or “skillet candy”
While sharing kitchen fun

She laughed with us, and cried with us
And shared our childish woes
With big doses of sage advice
That a wise mother knows

08-31-09 Poem in Progress

Phyllis Adair DeWitt-VanVleck

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A MAN AND HIS GUITAR

 

The old guitar is silent now

And sits behind the door

It’s strings are loose and out of tune

Not played as once before

 

He made the instrument he played

With such amazing skill                      

Music filled his home with joy

But now those strings are still

 

The man that made that guitar sing

Now sits and stares at space

He can’t remember how to play . . .

Confusion clouds his face

 

Sixty years they were as one

And music filled the air

Then gradually the music slipped

Behind his vacant stare

 

The old guitar awaits his touch

A touch that’s not to be

Because it’s lost within his mind

Where even he can’t see

 

3/18/00          Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

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            PAPA’S VIOLIN

 

When Papa played the violin

          Mom rolled the rug away

We children smiled because she knew

          We’d rather dance than play

As Papa raised the tempo

          Our feet kept cadenced time

Mama often sang along

          With words in perfect rhyme

We’d dance until the music stopped

          Then fall into a chair

While Papa changed the tempo

          With expertise quite rare

It seemed he knew a million tunes

          At least I thought he did

But that was admiration

          Through the heart of a kid

Yet, he could play forever

          And without one repeat

The music slow or lively

          With melody so sweet

From concert music and old tunes

          To music of the day

Two-step, waltz, and hoedown

          Oh, how sweet he’d play

He could set your heart soaring

          On his concert violin

The room so still you could hear

          The soft drop of a pin

But then with quick transition

          The tempo changed once more

From violin to fiddle

          And our feet caressed the floor

That little box of polished wood

          With strings and resined bow

Made music that pleased angels

          Or inspired heel and toe

But that was just acoustics

          And guaranteed to please

What really made that box sing

          Was Papa’s expertise

 

 

6/11/90        Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

 

6’th … Indiana NPD 1999

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THE OLD PORCH SWING

       

Just old boards and rusted chains

The old swing hanging there

It’s hardly ever used now

But saw its time of wear

 

‘Twas there Dad held hands with Mom

As groom and lovely bride

And through the years it also held

Six children at their side

 

There I rocked my dolls to sleep

Or so I would pretend

And there I giggled endlessly

With Crystal, my best friend

 

Whenever I was punished

And thinking life unfair

I’d swing awhile in its arms

While seeking solace there

 

On moonlit summer evenings

My Mom sat in the swing

And as it moved back and forth

I’d hear her hum and sing

 

Then I would sit beside her

Being quiet as could be

And listen to her sweet soft voice

Singing old-time songs for me

 

My Grandpa often sat there

As he sprinkled the grass

Chewing wads of Granger Twist

And spitting with rural class

 

The swing was witness to my muse

Yes, almost every time

It was the perfect place for me

And my attempts at rhyme

 

So fertile seeds of poetry

Were sown in that old swing

As sitting there, deep in thought

I rhymed most everything.

                  

Initials are carved on its arms

In hearts that entwine

Symbols of my first romance

(A hand grooved valentine)

 

And as I entered dating years

I’d sit with current beau

Saying things that sweethearts say

While swinging to and fro

 

There I received a diamond

On a warm starlit night

For such a romantic evening

The old swing seemed just right 

 

Three generations of infants

Were cuddled on the swing

Memories recall for each of us

The lullabies we’d sing

 

It often held our neighbors

Who came to chat a spell

If the swing had a memory

What stories it could tell

 

The old boards and rusted chains

Will soon be tossed away

But I’ll remember throughout life

That swing of yesterday

 

 

6/18/88        Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

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SING ME AN OLD-TIME SONG

 

 

Sing me an old-time song, Grandma

            Said the child upon my knee

Then looking up, she smiled and said

            Please sing one just for me

 

What do you want to hear, I asked

            She handed me a book

Just pick one of my favorites

            She said with, hopeful look

 

The book was old and quite well-worn

            With favorites marked in blue

Some pages were marred by dog-ears

            And scribbles someone drew

 

She loved to hear the songs within

            And often sang along

She was quite entranced with music

            And loved the rhymes in song

 

She knew we couldn’t stop at one

            She knew I loved them, too

She knew that if we opened the book

            I’d sing her quite a few

 

She smiled at all the happy ones

            And I could hear her hum

But when I sang the old sad songs

            A few warm tears would come

 

The years have passed . . . the book is hers

            Someday a child will say

Sing me an old-time song, Grandma

            Please sing for me today

 

 

9/4/88        Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

 

2’nd … Arkansas NPD 1988

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