Chuck Toll


Bedside Photograph


For nearly four score years and ten our mother
Found joy exploring what her world could give.
She knew first-hand the hells that one can live
But always felt that life was worth the bother.

She kept a childhood photo near her bed.
In it a young girl with two dogs smiles out
And waits to learn what life is all about.
She looks expectant, shows no sign of dread.

Folks sometimes asked where mother found the skill
To play on with those reconstructed knees.
How does one, bludgeoned daily by disease,
Manage to hold the smile, dismiss the ill?

At night, while her gnarled body struggled on,
She frolicked with her childhood dogs till dawn.

Submitted: Saturday, August 16, 2008
Edited: Saturday, August 16, 2008

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