I arrived home from work the other night to a stack of unusual documents my mother brought by having discovered them rummaging through an old box in storage. Among the curious aged documents was the ever familiar yellowed, crinkled typing paper I recognized without a doubt as the typed words from Granny. This page included 2 poems. By the nature of their content and tone I suspect they were likely written at a time of hardship for her (of which there were plenty in her life). As my eyes pour over her words, and now an adult myself, I find I relate to her words more than ever before. My heart is full as I feel her presence with me and my throat is choked as I empathize with her soul.
Since you've been so kind as to indulge me this far, I present to you an act of preservation of her words - for the stained paper I know will not last forever. Here are the two found poems by Ruby Spalding, the formatting maintained (as best I can) just as her fingers originally typed them. This post is dedicated to my son, who also reckons himself a poet. You and Granny would have gotten on well!
Death Passed By
Death came whistling by and paused to tap upon my door;
Storm signals were showing, alas, but he tapped no more;
I waited patiently, listening quietly there in the gloom
For the return of the one who had in his hand my doom.
Grotesque shadows began to leer, but my heart was minus fear,
Only a sense of light expectancy as Death hovered near.
Little birds sang my funeral march as I lay waiting there,
Little throats gave subdued notes a melody unique and rare;
My heart filled to bursting and light flooded my tired soul
As I waited eagerly, breathlessly for the bell that was to toll
And ring out the message that I was to start now without delay
From this tired old home of mine to the new one far, far away.
The cautious shadows were dear faces, I kissed them adieu--
As I whispered the secret of the old world and the new.
The long, weird shadows gradually grew dim-
The night became light and still no word of him;
My tired soul strengthened and I heard my heart say:
"Tis well. Death passed me by but he'll return another day.
Mother of Mine
Mother of mine, the days are long and weary;
The path where I must walk is dim and dreary;
I miss your loving presence, day by day
I need your care-can you look down to guide me?
And can you hear the tender words I say?
Mother of mine, when my weak soul would falter,
I guild me, with my memories, an altar,
And there I lay the griefs I cannot bear;
Kneeling before that shrine, your love enfolds me
Until the peace of your dear spirit holds me,
And whispered sounds of you are in my ear.
Mother of mine, while thus so far asunder
Heaven's distance keeps us, guard me lest I blunder
Far from the path where your own feet have passed;
Lest this long waiting should much oppress me,
Grant me your prayers that God may stoop to bless me,
And at his feet unite our souls at last.