Pencil Stubs Online
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Reverie After Words

By LinnieJane Burks

(Previously published in Hobbies, Etc.
parent publication of
Pencil Stubs Online.}

A telephone’s shrill ringing
Broke the stillness of the house,
I answered--then an anxious moment came;
“Long distance calling Mrs. Burks.”
Vague thoughts ran through my mind,
'Till the operator said my Mother’s name.
Across the swinging, singing wires
Which bridge six hundred miles,
Her voice then reached me clearly, and I heard
“How are you all in Louisville?
We are all well at home--
But from you this week we haven’t heard a word..”
I quickly reassured her,
"There's a letter on the way."
Then we visited back and forth so eagerly;
All too soon the magic spell
Was broken by the metallic “click.”
And I sat there gazing down dejectedly
But her voice had set in motion
Memories very dear to me;
In fact, more precious than a purse of gold;
They reached far down the span of years
To childhood’s happy days--
I sat there quietly watching them unfold.
One by one they passed before my eyes---
Some tender family scenes,
A glimpse of nature’s beauty which had thrilled;
A quarrel long and noisy
With a brother or my sis,
And the hours I sat and sang and played at will.
But, the place I lingered longest
In this dreamy reverie,
Was with characters not sought in classic lore;
They were heroes and heroines
Of poems my Mother said,
As I swung at evening on the milk-shed door.
The creamy foam which quickly rose
Up to the bright pail’s rim,
Was forgotten while we "roamed the mountain sides;"
Or "fought through raging battles",
Or "homesteaded in the west,"
Or "gazed in awe at the beauty of a bride."
As I watched this scene slowly,
I was shamed with thoughtlessness,
As for poems I‘d pressed my Mother o’er and o’er;
At my bedtime, in the morning,
As she tried to cook a meal,
And again at evening swinging on the shed door!
But how could the carefree lassie
See into the Mother’s heart--
Know the cares and problems there that vexed her sore?
She just knew she longed to hear
Her Mother tell the magic lines---
Weave sweet pictures as she swung upon the door.
Half in present---half in past,
I heard the echo of her voice.
How I longed for patience she’d displayed of yore;
When regardless of her burdens,
She’d repeat again for me---
Poems I’d beg for as I swung upon the door.

©--Linnie Jane Joslin Burks  

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