Treasure Island

cheryl davis miller

(2/26/57 / America)

A Plea and A Prayer


At the head of the hollow
in fair West Virginia
sat Grandma’s house
neath a hugh hickory tree

A humble little dwelling
with chickens and a garden
a shaded arbor
and her precious plum trees

On each side of her house
her children built homes
so her grandchildren
always were near

She raised food and flowers
was the heart of her ‘clan’
surrounded
by all she held dear

We could play in the cellar
the woods or the toilet
anywhere
besides her plum trees

I once made that mistake
and that sweet angels hand
made a lasting impression
on me

She’d fix us a sandwich
of canned milk and sugar
a treat
on a hot summer day

Sit in her swing
like a queen on her throne,
smiling
and watching us play

When we kids would argue
her eyes would grow sad
“Play pretty children”
she’d say

Her eyes touched our hearts
so we’d settle the fight,
none could bear
to hurt Grandma, that way

Those words were oft spoken
and we’d try to oblige
but the meaning
of her words passed us by

“Play pretty children”
was a mystery to us all
but her demeanor
made us give it a try

It was many years later
before her sweet words
were finally
understood by me

About the same time
my two darling daughters
were old enough
to disagree

“Play pretty children”
slipped from my lips
and I at last understood
the mystery

It’s a plea and a prayer
from the ‘ Heart ‘ of the clan
that the children
all live peacefully

With each passing year
the depth of those words,
lay heavy
on this Grandma's heart

So I’ve shared them with you
so you may agree too
this plea, and this prayer
to impart.

Submitted: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Edited: Monday, October 28, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

for Lula Bell Maxwell Davis c.d.m.9/9/09

- -


Play Pretty Children

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