Over the mantle hung a picture of my Momma, Beth.
She was so young and beautiful then it would take your breath.

Some called her Elizabeth, some Lizzie, but Dad called her Beth.
To me she was just Momma right up to her death.

My brother, Seth, was kind of named for her since he was her first born.
I came later and was named after her sister, and there was no time to mourn.

Momma died giving birth to me.
I never got to know her, don't you see?

My Aunt Cora raised me in her place.
All I ever had was the mantle picture of her lovely face.

Dad went to join her not long after she passed,
And me and Seth had our lots cast.

Some say I look like Momma for which I am proud,
But over my head there hangs a dark cloud.

I never got to sit in her lap or listen to her sing.
Aunt Cora was good to me, but she died last Spring.

Now it's just me and Seth once more,
But we got the picture of Momma which we adore.

By Phyllis Ann (





Her first experience with a blind date,
One sheíd resisted for the longest time.
At last, he arrived two full hours late,
Heralded by the grandfather clock's chime.

Pouting, she assailed him with angry thoughts,
For this dinner would not go as sheíd planned.
He stood at the door with forget-me-nots,
While she extended, then withdrew her hand.

He wasnít very bad looking, in fact,
Attire showing that he had good taste;
But by now, the dirty dishes were stacked -
Her most scrumptuous meal had gone to waste.

"Iím sorry," she said, "but youíll have to go,
For I expected you long before this.
And perhaps you should keep these flowers, so
Youíll not forget, lest other dates youíll miss."

By Richard McCusker (RickMack) (




Sincerely, Elizabeth

Elizabeth looked at the letter laying on the table in the foyer. It was addressed to her, but she could not imagine who would be writing to her from Connecticut. Her parents were both deceased. Her sister and two brothers had moved away from Connecticut years ago. In fact most of the people she had know while growing up there had moved away or passed away. So who could possibly have written to her here in the home she shared with her husband and two children. Well, the only way to find out was to open the letter and read it. And that is what she did.

She could not be more astounded when she looked at the signature. The letter had been written by a man she thought was long dead. It was from her childhood sweetheart. They had been engaged, when Frank went off to war, never to return. All reports were that he had died in battle. But it was his signature. She recognized the handwriting. She was almost afraid to read the letter.

Elizabeth and Frank had planned to marry. But when it was told that he had died in the fighting, she mourned him for more than two years. Then, as was expected of all young women in that day and age, her parents had said she should marry. A friend of her father's had offered marriage many times. She did not love him, but he was a good man. And so she accepted marriage to him. And they had moved away. Elizabeth had borne two sons for him. But Frank was not a young man, and had died while the children were still young, five and eight years of age. He left Elizabeth comfortably situated. She was able to bring up his boys the way he would have wanted. The boys were now in their teens. Elizabeth was satisfied with her life, and did not want for much, except perhaps the companionship of a good man.

She started reading the letter and found that Frank had not died in battle many years ago, but had instead entangled himself in a situation that would have brought shame to his family. He had gotten a young woman in the family way. To save face, he had let everyone believe he was dead, and had married the young woman. He was a father to children of a different culture. His wife had died of pneumonia, and he was now alone with his almost adult children. He moved himself and his children back to his family home, which he had inherited.

He said he still loved her. And he wondered if she still had feelings for him and would like to meet. Elizabeth thought for weeks about the letter. And then she sat down to write a letter back to Frank.

"Dear Frank,

I once loved you dearly and mourned your death for several years. But that was long ago. I am sorry for the sorrow you have suffered with the death of your wife. But I married a good man and gave him two wonderful sons. Though he is gone now, I realize just how fortunate I was to have been his wife. My life here is complete. I have no interest in meeting you or starting a relationship with a man who was so selfish as to let everyone who cared for him think that he was dead. So in answer to your question, no I do not have feelings for you and I do not wish to meet.

Sincerely, Elizabeth

By Sharon (




Sam and Jenny

Walking up to the nursing home, I was touched by a plumpish very old man with suspendered pants and a shock of silver hair. He had dropped his head to his chest, dozing off as he held on to the rubber handle of a wheelchair. The chair was filled with a propped little lady, her head, too, dropping, but with an unknowing face. She had on a pretty purple dress and her own hair was shiny white and waved, brushed back. Her little feet dangled in purple jeweled slides. The day was sunny, and one could allow imagination to go willy-nilly.

The old man was remembering his little lady back in the 20's. She was a darling then, so refined, demure. He was a rough-shod man, a railroad engineer, and he ran the old Chicago-Terre Haute line. They met when the ticket-taker called him over for a question - a question he doesnít recall - for he was smitten at once by Jenny Sue who was boarding his train. She was her fatherís pride and joy. Sam courted Jenny after that. He would hike the painted gray wooden steps to her lovely beveled glass front door and present her with a romantic rose - or two. One summer night as they walked under old oak trees with hanging moss, Sam suddenly knelt right there on the walk and held her hand. He said "Jenny, my love, Iím an ordinary man, but Iíll give you the world if I can. If youíll give me your hand (gulp) in marriage."

"Oh," she blushed, "Iíll consider it, Sam, but first you must talk to my first love, my father, Mr. Jones."

Poor Sam trembled, for Mr. Jones was a difficult man, protective of his three girls. He wanted them to have everything and had worked so hard for it, and Sam felt his own humility of prosperity. However, love won over fear, and finally Sam took Jenny by the hand one night from her front porch swing and led her into her living room where her father sat reading, balding head, glasses propped on his nose, with a quizzical expression toward Sam. "S-s-s-ir," Sam stuttered. "I do love your daughter, and I-I-I c-c-c-are for her so d-d-d-eeply. Will you allow us to marry?" There! Sam had said it out loud. There would be no turning back, and he shook, perspiring into his blue serge suit waiting for Mr. Jones.

Mr. Jones rubbed his chin thoughtfully. It seemed as if eternity was passing when he finally said: "Sam I knew your paw, and his paw before him. They were honest men, strong men, and while I have a few misgivings about you right now, I do believe in you, and so I will let you marry my Jenny Sue."

It seemed to Sam that gallons of that perspiration poured through his body and filled his shoes, but he had never felt so peaceful and happy in his entire life - not even when he got a shiny bicycle for his 12th Christmas!

The wedding was simple, sweet, and refined. Oh, how stunning Jenny looked, more a beauty than Sam had ever dreamed she could be, and to him she had already reached the pinnacle of beautiful women. Curls trickled down the sides of her face just touching the ivory satin shoulders of her heirloom lace dress while she carried a bouquet of gardenias. Her sisters added loveliness and dignity in their rose-satin bridesmaids dresses carrying pink miniature roses. The music of harp and a violin played Pachelbel Canon, and a centerpiece of tiny mirrors graced the reception table with a tall rose and ivory wedding cake. Samís friend, Frank, photographed the handsome couple, and because they were friends, he gave him extra, without charge, a single picture of the profile of his lovely Jenny with a small print for Sam to carry. The perfect soft-lit picture is still on the mantle of Sam and Jennyís lonely home.

In front of the nursing home, on a cool sunny day, an old man lovingly fingers an old photograph.

By Norma (




Until the Right Time

Her voice was silent, many memories
seemed to grace her mind
An innocence look she wore
Fair was her skin, as her rosy cheeks charmed
the suitor that called
Unsure of his intentions, she pondered in thought
Dashing he was, but must she give in
With no misgiving, she'll wait til it's the right time

By Marty (
















Summer Pastimes ( 7 Authors )

Be An American

On Harbor Street ( 6 Authors )


In His Sight

Fourth of July

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