Jerry Oneal Jr.

Mourning - Poem by Jerry Oneal Jr.

Morning brings not all to wake
Alive and feeling well.
Afternoon is quickly gone,
As evening casts it's spell.
Night's foreboding Messages
are known by all to tell,
Mourning brings not all to wake
Alive and feeling well

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

During the early '80's, at 24yrs old or so, I was employed as a Gardener for an elder's community in Dallas. Landscape Gardening is my chosen career/profession. I've always had an appreciation and deep respect for nature in all of it's splendor and endless fascination. So, when it appeared as an elective on the curriculum during high school, I studied Ornamental Horticulture for four years. Because of my interest I became very good at it. After school and work experience gained at higher echelon landscape companies, I was offered the job at the 'old folk's home'. The apartments were situated around a court yard in the center of the complex. I sensed I had become, perhaps, a source of entertainment/gossip for the elders, and a feeling of being under a microscope as well. I would make my rounds, caring for the respective mini-gardens each of the residents enjoyed outside their patios. This one lady took an interest in me, and I her. She would invite me over during breaks and on occasion share lunch. When it was cold she'd serve coco & cookies. We became close. I thought of her as a surrogate aunt, she became a friend, mentor, confidant, or someone unfettered? to talk to. Which then was missing in my life. It was clear to everyone we became fond of each other. I was eager to hear her stories about her life & WW11. She was one of the sweetest people I've ever known. I might add at this time I lived with my Grandfather, an eccentric, deep, yet beautiful retired funeral director. I grew up in the apartment above the funeral home. It seemed this experience gave me, a somewhat unusual or different perspective, than my friends, on death. This poem appeared to me in it's entirety as I awoke one cold morning in February, while laying there during the 'twilight period' before I rose to get ready to go to work at the 'old folks home'. I jotted it down. As I worked my way around the court yard approaching the morning break I was looking forward to coco/cookies and spending time with my new, special friend. Her sliding glass door curtains were opened. I could see in and felt crushing emptiness when, after a few minutes she didn't appear. Somehow I knew, that I knew, that I knew that she had passed during the night. Her neighbors confirmed it, and tried to console me. I'm privileged to have known someone as precious as she for that short time or maybe now it's forever. From that, I think, everyone may be a light for someone else and perhaps never even know it.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, October 12, 2013

Poem Edited: Thursday, October 31, 2013

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