was fond of fixing fancy dishes
for her friends, her girl and boy;
loved her little pond of fishes:
shubunkin hobnobbing with koi.
When three were snatched by a hungry heron,
she hollered, “Gluttonous robber baron!”
Still and all, when life would look
as bleak as a cold, unmoving brook,
she’d play some Scrabble with her daughter,
unscrambling letters, while her ills
came down like hail no docs nor pills
could heal. The cancer-monster caught ’er.
Yet, though the dread malignancy
tried hard to nibble at her glee,
it couldn’t gobble her spunky spirit,
deep-rooted as a redwood bole,
a trait that helped her not to fear it.
She liked the beach, good books, a stroll,
but when the lakes froze? Hope would melt ’em.
When bitter cards came? She re-dealt ’em.
At Charlestown’s shore I viewed in awe
the link uniting girl and ma.
Such cooking teamwork! What I savored
in that cottage those five days
was the warmth of Indian summer rays.
She walked with pain, yet never wavered.
I wonder: will I have such pluck
when kismet’s rapids run amok?
i.m. Phyllis Bagnaschi
(September 20, 1936 - September 20, 2012)
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