Please visit the ever entertaining Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference, who is hosting Poetry Friday today. There’s all kinds of poetry sharing to be discovered! Thanks very much Tabatha!
I have been sifting through many boxes of things stored in our house for some time; some from my mother-in-law's things. In one of those boxes, I found a diary written by her mother, whose son fought in World War II. The diary is simply written, the words of a farmwoman who rose each day and cleaned, visited, baked, canned, sewed, washed and hung clothes to dry, sometimes in the basement when it was too cold out and the clothes would freeze on the line. On Sundays, she attended church. Those are the tasks she recorded of her life. On the inside cover, she wrote: Be a lamplighter. We shall shine as the stars of the morning, something for us all to aspire to.
In the five years of this ‘daily’ book, my husband’s maternal grandmother Lora did not write one word about feelings. There was no “I’m a little tired today, or achy or sad.” And although she did mention the challenges of weather: cold and snow, icy and slick, she still went about her work, because on the same day, she also mentions visiting a friend. The lovely parts I discovered are bits and pieces of words cut from the newspaper or magazines that are poems and quotes and Bible references. In this ephemera I began to form a picture of her, full of a little sentiment, a little laughter, and serious about her God. And one of the clippings is a poem whose author is unknown. It is sentimental, but shows something about this woman who recorded her life in the simplest of words, letting someone else tell how she was feeling. Her diary ended right after World War II.
When day is ending, he shall come
Even as of old—yes—in the same
Naught shall be changed—the sunlight
still shall fall
With lengthening shadows on the
floor and wall.
The little tasks all finished once
I’ll wait for him—but shall not
wait in vain.
For he shall come—shall place
upon my brow
The old sweet kiss and he shall say
Thou who hast waited I have come
The hideous dream of war is past
Oh, my beloved, let thy grieving
For once more men are brothers—
there is peace.