Wednesday, February 04, 2009


This street had seen its time of glory
I mused that night at summer's end
but left off thoughts of former history
as lightening now the sky did rend

Hastening towards my car parked yonder
the tenor of the air now changed
thunder clapped as I ran grieving
lives now vanished with the rain

There were letters in the lightning
missives racing down the street
quickened words, electric hissing
urging me this very night

to honor those who were, but now
are gone forgotten in the gloam
who did in-dwell these ancient houses
where love and faith once made their home.

Now on wind-swept porch and landing
unclaimed news and broken chair
once sat Mama singing sweetly
while she combed out sister's hair

In the yard now brambled, trampled
once grew pretty roses fair
hollyhocks and yellow daisies
grown with tender loving-care

by the matron queen who nurtured
each bud, and each rose-cheeked babe
But hands that soothed the brow of husband
now rest silent in the grave.

What justice or what mercy
forbids not time to wash away
the careful mending, white curtains lacy
but lets her deeds all meet decay?

Why no lingering fragrance
of soups and stews and baking bread?
No candle beckons weary family
for most of those she loved are dead

Mens' work of old still speaks of them
in mortar, bricks, and written word
No praise she sought to sew a hem
To build up lives she much preferred.

Houses still stand, and pavement stays
coarse strangers therein with strangers' ways.
Weep not her place knows her no more;
her love led many to heaven's door.

For love lives on, and in heaven stays
Safe from storm, and ravaged age.
Goodness is not wasted, nor she who prays.
The virtuous woman gains a golden wage.

She taught souls who taught souls, who will take up the work
of nurture, of home, and the regular folk
May her mansion above have a front-porch swing
where I'll know I am home when I hear Mama sing.

by Gail Aggen