In Memory of Love on the Road * Stephen’s 86th Birthday

August 6, 2021

Stephen’s 86th Birthday Donut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For me

Our drive from home

In California

To our home in

Santa Fe New Mexico

Was magical

I had you     my beloved

All to myself

No telephone ringing

With calls for you

From anyone

No TV voices

To turn off

Only us     just us

In the quiet of our

Car

Driving at times

Many miles

In intimate silence

 

Do you remember

My very dear

The Italian restaurant

In Holbrook Arizona

Where for years

We spent the night

This restaurant

On the outskirts of town

Served astonishingly delicious

Food

 

Motels crowded the area

A gas station

Close to the entrance

Of the Interstate

Where you would

Fill our tank

Before dinner

So we could leave

Again

While still dark

To drive east

Toward Albuquerque

The sky growing lighter

Lighter

Eating peanut butter

Sandwiches

As the sun rose

Over the Interstate

Day had begun

 

Of course

Fall always arrived

Aspen leaves

Turned the mountains

To gold

Time for us

To drive home again

To California

 

My favorite place

To stop

As we drove west

Into the setting sun

Was Casa Grande

Arizona again

A friendly man

How we met     a mystery

I do not remember

 

He told us

He and his family

Owned a restaurant

We should come for

Dinner

And we did

It had a cozy

Atmosphere

And delicious food

A huge old tree

That has stood

For at least a

Hundred years

Was the guardian

Of the front yard

And the family’s

Pride

We went back and

Back

At least four years

On the way home

And then

The tree fell down

The restaurant lost its

Spirit

Closed

And us

We grieved the loss

Knew it wouldn’t be

Replaced

Drove up and down

The road that led into

Casa Grande

Among the motels

Gas stations

McDonald’s and other

Fast food places

Until we found “Millie’s”

It didn’t have a

Huge old tree

It wasn’t very cozy

The food was OK

But as the saying goes

We made do

 

My dear Love

For twenty-five years

You drove 900 miles

Each way

From California

To New Mexico

From New Mexico

Back

To California

It was a magical time

For me

Being together with

You

I thank you     thank you

For the ride

 

I love you forever and ever

Happy Birthday

Santa Fe, 1986

 

Poem for our 65th Wedding Anniversary

For my husband, my hero ... 

Who would think

A man could be

So utterly kind

So loving is

He

And wonder of wonders

He married

Me

 

Sixty-five years

Ago

On a very hot

Day

My tearful father

Gave me away

Why the tears

Daddy

You had to have

Known

As soon as I’d seen

Him

I knew I’d come home

And then they arrived

One  two  three  four

Three little boys

One little girl

Oh how we loved

Them

Did our best

To guide them

Watched them become

Grown

Then tried not to

Cry

In front of them

When away they had

Flown

So

It’s you and me

Kid

And ain’t it been

Fun

We love remembering

All we have done

And you

You have made me

The most fortunate of

Wives

With all the Loving

Moments

Creating our

Life

That began

Sixty-seven years

Ago

When we walked into

Each other’s

Lives

A day camp for children

Guided there by Spirit

I am certain

 

Then two years hence

We married

On that very hot day

An afternoon wedding

We soon drove away

Ate hamburgers and

French fries

Our very first meal

As husband and wife

Loud thunderstorms

Kept us company

All through the

Night     remember

Other storms blew in

Blew out

And never was there

A doubt

God’s gift to us

Beloved

When we were

Young

In summer’s sway

Was this

We saw our life

Together

Down the years

And so

We did not look

Away

 

 —June 17, 20201

Museum Hill

Do you remember

The night

We drove up Museum

Hill

To gaze into the night

Sky

Crowded with stars

An overwhelmed feeling

Of absolute awe

In our hearts

Starlight still so much

Brighter

Than light from the city

Below

City lights that would

Multiply

In years still to come

Dimming starry brilliance

From the night sky

 

Museum Hill

The Museum of Indian Arts

And Culture

The Lab of Anthropology

The Folk Art Museum

As tho asleep

Their doors locked

The silence of night

Wrapped around them

We know them well

Each with its own

Unique reason for

Existing

 

How many hours

Over twenty-seven years

Did we spend in one

Or the other

 

I don’t remember     now

How long we stayed

Looking up into that

Infinite world of stars

Maybe until our necks

Began to ache

I only remember

It was hard to leave

Ignorant astronomers

Were we

Excited to spot

Numerous shooting stars

The Big and Little Dippers

Then red Mars

And a satellite

Streaming across the sky

Amazed with the stars

Slow move of their

Positions

As the night

Moved

On

 

We left as we came

Driving down and around

The winding road

That led us around

And up

Museum Hill

Do you remember

Do you remember

I do

*starry night photo credit: Cliford Mervil

Spring

My dear

Spring is come

The sycamore    the Crepe Myrtle

Both birthing their new leaves

Roses in their garden

Bloom again

Recovered from their pruning

 

I miss mating of the

Mockingbirds

Scolding squawks claiming

Territories

Music of their calls

Resounding down the canyon walls

Around us

They have disappeared from my

Life

 

My dear

Do you remember spring

In Illinois

The ancient lilac bush

We transplanted

From the farm

Across from us on McCree

Road

Its house torn down

Making way

For a crop of new houses

Remember

We let the hose drip water

Two whole days     two whole nights

Around her roots

Praying she’d survive

She did     bloomed so faithfully

Sending the delicious scent

Of her blooms

Into our bedroom window

 

Oh     I welcome spring

In California

But mourn the ancient

Lilac bush

No flowered fragrance

Will ever fill her place

 

 

 

All Love for My Hero

MomDadWalkDownAisle

Oh

I remember well

The beautiful young man

Standing in the front room

Of the Rodgers Park Jewish

Community Center

One June morning in

1954

I have come there

To be a counselor

In the Center’s summer day camp

A job I’m not overly excited

About taking

Only here because a college friend

Tells me there’s an opening for a

Girl counselor     and there isn’t any

Other summer jobs I know of

To apply for

Oh yes

I walk in and there he is

Standing right smack in front

Of me

I look up into a pair of very

Blue eyes

In a face smiling down at me

With beautiful     white     even teeth

He wears a white tee shirt

The sleeves rolled up once

His arms tanned     and not bulging

With muscles     just right

I don’t remember anything else of that

Day     our first meeting

Except that first day unbeknownst

To me     is the blessed first day of

Sixty-two wonderful years     sixty of them

In marriage

 

Thank you God     thank you Stephen

And you beloved family

Beloved friends

For blessing us     honoring us

By coming to be with us

As we celebrate our marriage

Of sixty blessed years

 

Thank you     Thank you     Thank you

MomDadVows

Words

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When we have had a

Fight

 

It doesn’t happen often

You know

 

I feel I am in a

Foreign country

Landing on unfamiliar

Soil

From some far away

Galaxy

Not knowing who I am

Where I belong

 

Feeling unlike myself

Inside the depths

Of mind   of body

My heat remaining

Silent

 

It is not the words

My dear Love

I do not remember

Words

Do not listen to

Words

My distress rides

On the tone of voice

Used

To speak the words

My Achilles heel

Returning me to

Voices

I remember hearing

In childhood

That put me on the defensive

So     around     around     around

We go     you and I

Then     it ends

 

It takes a small time

For me

To come back into my familiar

Self

Like stillness

After a storm passes

Before a bird begins to sing

Again

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