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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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When I was twelve and my mom came home (Hammond, Indiana) one day and said that she had found the cutest little house for us to live in. She could have a garden and we would have a huge yard to play in. And, then she took us there and my heart just fell. But, I shall always remember it as my home on “Hookey Hill” where we had love, adventures, sorrow and joy.  We were a family.

 

THE SHACK UPON THE HILL

 

I was a lonesome run-down shack

Sitting high upon a hill

Abandoned and neglected there

My rooms were much too still

 

My boards were loose and weathered gray

With specks of former hue

My tarpaper roof was wind-torn

And had a leak or two

 

My chimney crumbled from neglect

And had a ragged crest

Sparrows used it yearly

To house their springtime nest

 

My window glass held years of grime

Some frames had lost their panes

And sills showed signs of sad decay

From frequent snows and rains

 

My door had broken hinge and lock

So hung a bit awry

The sounds it made in passing breeze

A squeaky lullaby

 

My insides, too, were ailing then

With checked and peeling paint

But though in need of much repair

Could be described as quaint

 

For everywhere that one might look

Were glimpses of the past

And though it was in token form

Had somehow seemed to last . . .

 

Clean spots left upon my walls

From pictures hung with  twine

That hugged and graced the covering

Of faded rose design

  

And on my rough hewn pantry shelves

There sat a broken clock

A mason jar, a dented pan

And damaged butter crock

 

Rusty one-pound coffee cans

With sparse and dried remains

Of pungent red geraniums

Sat on my window frames           

 

A gaping hole was in my wall

Where stove-pipe once went through

Linoleum graced a cracked sink

And Granny cupboard, too

                                               

A room was added long ago

With roof of rusted tin

There was a deep dark cellar room

That served as harvest bin

 

And that is how I was perceived . . .

As a crumbling old shell

But life was not to see an end

For I have more to tell

 

A city family on a drive

Discovered me one day

And saw potential beauty here

Beneath my sad decay

 

And soon my wounds and bruises

Were no longer seen

I have new paint and paper

And brand new window screen

 

My chimney with its new red bricks

No longer winter sleeps

And with its new gray covering

My roof no longer weeps

 

There’s glass in all my window frames

That’s now kept sparkling clean

New hinges on my big front door

Prevents that awful lean

 

Pretty pictures once again

Decorate my walls

And the plaster on my ceilings

No longer cracks and falls

 

A big thick rug on once bare boards

Gives warmth to front room floor

While chintz and lacy curtains

Grace windows as before

 

There’s flowers on my window sills

A tiled kitchen floor

And a rug for wiping soiled shoes

Is by my busy door 

                                  

The musty smell of aging wood

Is now replaced, instead

By the smell of country cooking

And loaves of homemade bread

 

Six noisy children, with  their pets

Just love to laugh and shout

With youthful exuberance

As they run in and out

                                                      

And the woods that surround us here

Have come alive once more

As children play their childish games

On its thick leafy floor

 

A cottonwood holds a crude tree house

A mighty oak, a swing

Another tree, the tallest one

Is crowned with kite and string

 

A cow is grazing in the woods

There’s chickens in a pen

Little hatchlings trail behind

An old brown setting-hen

                               

A little boy plays in the sand

With tiny trucks and cars

And little girls pick wild-flowers

To put in old fruit jars

 

But that is not the best of it

For these are only things

My rooms are filled with happiness

And all the warmth that brings

 

My walls embrace this family

While sharing hopes and fears

And all the poignant feelings

Of their joys and their tears

 

And so I live, in joy again

A long awaited thrill

With time to make new memories

In this shack upon the hill

 

 

5/5/81            Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

 

This is the DeWitt Family of Griffith Indiana

back row: Edward, Sally and dad

front row: Patsy, Beverly, mom and myself – Phyllis

Brother Donald had died in the war.

Edward and Patsy are now deceased but Sally, Beverly and myself (Phyllis) will have a reunion, in October, in Tennessee.

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THE TOUCH OF A WING

 

Great golden and bald eagles

Soar and dip and glide

I envy them such freedom

To travel far and wide

 

I think it must exhilarate

When on a downward swing

To caress the mighty treetops

With the touch of a wing

 

Then go soaring to the glory

Of cerulean sky

To catch the thermal up-drafts

As scenes go passing by

 

How great to view the landscape

Away from all the crowds

Where all that’s seen is beauty

Down beneath the clouds

 

Oh, I’d love to soar like they do

And glide with wings spread wide

Surveying beauty spread below

In our great countryside

 

2/19/95            Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

 

4’th … Indiana NPD 1995

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AT THE END OF THE LANE

 

End of the lane

Field full of grain

Barrel of rain

      House, once white

      Oil lamp light

Crumbling silo

Farm dog named Joe

A goat named Flo

      Barn of red

      Small plow shed

Worn “outhouse” trails

Broken fence rails

Dented milk pails

      Garden rows

      Big black crows

Piglets and sow

Brown Jersey cow

Hay in the mow

      Sway-backed horse

      Cats, of course

Mice, quite a few

A barn-owl, too

Duck-pond in view

      Coop and pen

      Plump brown hen

Rooster to crow

Chicks that will grow

Flowers to show

      Swing for kids

      Wells with lids

Tepeed corn shocks

Land strewn with rocks

Starlings in flocks

      My old farm

      Postcard charm    

   

2/2/89 –  Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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     TOUCHING THE SKY

 

On my old swing I’d fly so high

I thought my feet would touch the sky.

My hair would swirl around my face

And with my toes, the clouds I’d trace.

 

I’d close my eyes so I could see

Myself, as I touched majesty.

I’d feel the kiss of Heaven then

Before the swing returned again.

 

Now, on the ground my feet must stay,

As I sit here and dream away,

Back to that sweet remembered thrill . . .

The oak-held swing upon the hill.

 

That swing still hangs on old frayed rope,

Reminding me of bygone hope – –

My fantasy to touch the sky,

When as a child I’d swing so high.

 

2/10/00      Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

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