Joy - In Memoriam - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich
She gave to all,
with caring hands
and warmth of heart.
They called her,
with a hint of praise
Her man of fifty years
thought of himself
the very thought
of clubs and charities,
their numbers endless
like the grains of sand,
on beaches reeking strangely
of the musk of sweet infinity.
She had not needed much
in culinary goods
or in the way of sleep.
Her smile was tainted,
yes, a mixture of concern
and reassuring nods,
framed by a mischievous
and maiden born enthusiasm.
When she laid eyes on me
that busy day, when all of us
had come to get acquainted,
there in the yard, a cask or two
and green VB on bags of ice,
we clicked just for the heck of it,
it seemed. And if she judged
it did not show, for which I was
as always glad, she took you
as you were or as you sought to be.
A shadow flashed across her cheeks
that helter-skelter afternoon
when life demanded all her skills
and selflessly she had complied,
again. And then again.
There was a pain, a real pain
down in the very pit of things,
and instantly she had become
a woman of unusual perception.
She'd been, by way of cyberwaves
become aware. So sad for litle folks.
What would they do, let down as such
by what the gods had now decreed,
it would be such a pain to tell,
especially the little ones, she would
be so bereft of words, the granny
who had met the match,
the one who took her speech away
by cutting deep within that heart of gold
and twisting once or twice,
just to make sure she understood.
And then, when she awoke again,
to wrap the Christmas gifts for all,
she had to steady trembling hands
and sit in the recliner from last year,
a present of her grown up son,
attorney to the world, respected
and the father of those little darlings
who would be, with smiles of happiness
and reddened cheeks rush to the tree
and rip the living daylights out of wraps
and bows and cartons made by boys
in sweatshops of new opportunity,
down old Kolkata Way.
She would be resting then,
inside a box of cypress or mahogany
and think about them all, with Joy,
her little ears alert to all the sounds
that were her life and warmed her heart
so long ago. It was a life lived by a flower,
who never lost the fragrance of a rose.
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