My Persimmon


Orange orb, seasoned sweet,
Baby soft, my treasured treat.
I confess that I enjoy
Thy jellied juices as a boy
Would love his corner candy store.
(Maybe even much, much more!)

Am I so cold in baring thee?
Am I too bold in paring thee?
And if my appetite offends,
Would heartless nibbling make amends?

I hate to watch thee go to waste,
And so my tongue desires to taste
Thy blushing best
With avid zest!

1/19/1983 while at work


Family Photo Album 394

Elizabeth, let’s sit and talk awhile.
Remember when your Daddy made you smile
With horsey rides and tickle bug and chase?
Do you remember playing ‘ugly face?’

Our lives are mostly filled with memories,
And what’s ahead is hidden in the breeze.
I’ll soon have run my fully measured mile.
Elizabeth, let’s sit and talk awhile.

1/27/1983 while at work

Let’s Go!

Cosumnes Sunrise Oaks 16

Let’s go walking! Here, hold my hand.
The sun is baking acorn pie!
Let’s go taste some! Let’s go stand
Beneath Ol’ Snarly Oak — just you and I.

I want to squeeze the Spanish moss
Again and smell the dusty leaves
Before it rains — and maybe toss
Some acorns at the buzzing bees.

Let’s go listen to the peal
Of woodpeckers! (It causes pain
Just thinking how their heads must feel
With all that pounding! My aching brain!)

Come on with me and walk awhile.
The grass is tall and we can sing
And fill our socks with foxtails. (I’ll
Pretend they tickle more than sting!)

I bet you like to climb! Go try
It then. I’ll boost you up and wait
Until you’re done. Now, don’t by shy!
Let’s go before it gets too late.

Here, take my hand — it’s down the road.
I’m sure my old friend will agree
To risk another youthful load!
Here, take my hand, and let’s go see!

2/11/1983 – old and blind


Family Photo Album 361

The door must have been open wide,
For in she flew — fluttering —
Sputtering — all regal-eyed
And bushy-tailed, her little wings
Raising dust where she alighted —
(I think she was a bit excited)!

For an encore, she began
To sing (or maybe it was squeak).
As a new and loyal fan,
I admired her rosy beak:
Who could fault that happy chirping?
How mundane to call it burping!

1/26/1983 while at work

Shall I?

Shall I flatter thee
With poetry,
And pen with hallowed hue thy brittle heart?
Or shall I now expose
This summer’s rose
To winter’s cruel sting? Dare I depart
And draw dear Leah’s eyes
Without disguise?
(As morning light reveals another bride)
I fear to lift the veil
From such a pale
And tender bud by spreading petals wide.

I’ve seen the secret place
Upon thy face
Where wind and rain had forced thy blossom’s womb
To bare its nakedness —
I must confess
With greatest grief the choice of thy perfume —
It takes away my breath
As scents of death
Invisibly invade my open door.
And who can stop these storms
Whose strength deforms
The dearest rose? And yet, I love thee more.



Family Photo Album 343

Willie loved the farm —
His dusty hand and arm
Would often reach around
My waist and hold me bound
And blushing at his side.
“Hello, my lovely bride!”
He’d say. Then off he’d go,
Singing with his hoe
Across his aching back.

Whatever then we lacked,
We never lacked for love.

1/17/1983 while at work