"Betty" A lyrical portrait

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    "Betty" A lyrical portrait

    This portrait is about a neighbor friend who lived down the street from me in Shadyside....I was a pall bearer for her as well as for her husband who predeceased her; written in 1992.

    Another journey around old sol.
    Betty, in her winter years, has driven
    the route eighty times, while revering all life.
    She tells me, "You'll go to Hell for killing slugs!"
    She knows I especially like 'gooshing' the
    contrail-on-the-pavement-land-squid on her sidewalk.
    I laugh to contradict her, knowing, in my heart,
    I do each slimy plant-eating molluscs a Buddhist-like
    favor with a descending 14.

    To digress:
    Before the start of each year's journey
    Betty's collection of last year's seeds propagate
    anew in her tidy warm haven, to be planted out when
    'her' weather permits.
    All know then that her home-cathedral will be encircled
    again by the congregation-leis
    of her flower-pious children. Even the big guy 'up
    there' should know he has a rival in her fruitful goodness
    by the succession of her bounty.

    In the spring Betty ushers her
    plant-children to their lush furrows,
    knowing that they'll be harmonious
    in response by their greening hymns
    with the fervor of their growth.

    Then to summer, and Betty's annual lessons of weeding
    and righting their order.
    her garden-followers respond by offering back to her banquettes,
    sense-bouqets, petition blooms
    and the spice-prayers of their essences.

    In the fall Betty prepares for the sad desert of winter by
    reaping the good mortal harvest from the dry limbs of her
    devotees; her old-lady-arms swaying to the beat of her
    own root-gnarled hands as she strips them down to their
    medium, to the soul of their being.

    I still see Betty in my life now
    waiting for the bus to Church with a colorful umbrella
    flowering above her in the rain which seems to mourn
    her not-yet-loss. And the profound old woman says,
    "I may not be here next year...." But I know she
    is mistaken...she's a perennial!


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    nosyrosy81 commented on "Betty" A lyrical portrait

    04-13-2009

    sounds to me like you respected this lady....maybe she taught you about the garden.....a mentor of all things green.....its sad but celibratory.

    Poetry is either something that lives like fire inside you or else it is nothing, an empty formalized bore around which pedants can endlessly drone their notes and explanations.

    Unknown Source

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