A Letter to Silas

My dear grandchild,

Silas MacKenzie Mathews,


You would be a man by now.

So many years have passed.


How we wanted you to stay,

but your fragile body wouldn’t let you.


Did you hear what your daddy said that day,

your last day here?

He said, “I am proud of my son.

He tried his best to live.

He stayed as long as he could.”


Eleven weeks wasn’t long enough for any of us.


We still talk about you, Silas.

We still say your name.

We have not – will not – forget

that you were here,

that you were ours,

that you are as much a part of this family as any of us.

You were – you are – real.


And we can’t wait for the day

we each can join you where you are.


Tell me, do you grow up in Heaven?

Or will you still be that precious baby that we love?


Either way, this grandma will be ready

to give you a lifetime’s worth of love.

The Way of Children

Baby comes on storkish wing,

Tiny, helpless, lovely thing.

Every day, he grows a bit;

Last week’s clothes no longer fit.

Before you know, he’s pulling up,

And drinking milk now from a cup.


Little children grow so fast.

Childhood isn’t meant to last.

Before you blink, the future’s past.


Then one day he’s walking, talking –

Suddenly has a lot to say.

Before you notice, he’s in school,

Thinking he’s grown up and cool.

Then middle school, and high school, too.

Has ideas of what he’d like to do.

One day you wake and he’s a grad,

And you’re barely used to being a dad.


Little children grow so fast.

Childhood isn’t meant to last.

Before you blink, the future’s past.


There’s not a way to stop them growing,

It’s supposed to be that way, I’m knowing.

So take the time when they are young,

Before all the childish songs are sung.

Children are quickly growing things.

First, give them roots. Then give them wings.


Little children grow so fast.

Childhood isn’t meant to last.

Before you blink, the future’s past.

Recipe for a Peaceful World




Economic System

Opportunity & Education Mix


This recipe isn’t quick and easy like brownies, but it is certainly satisfying.

It is impossible to add too much Love. If you’re not sure you have enough, I have found that the more you stir it, the faster it grows. Be sure it’s natural, organic love, with no artificial ingredients like narcissism or manipulation. That kind will ruin the recipe. If you find you don’t have enough love on hand for the whole world, mix in some Respect. That’ll work, too.

Once you have adequate love, stir in Justice, applied equally and fairly to all.

Throw in a double handful of Opportunity and Education so that humans can sustain themselves through Work and can find fulfillment in their lives.

Add appropriate Shelter so humans can be adequately housed and kept safe from the elements.

Stir in an Economic System; be sure it’s the kind that works for everybody.

Bake in good weather and bad weather, easy times and hard times.

Guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.

Serves 7 billion.




Did You Know, Coretta?

Did you know, Coretta Scott, what life would ask of you?

Were you afraid each time he left the house?


Did you know when you were dating

This handsome boy would be a leader,

That his voice would be remembered for all time?

That his words he spoke would move us,

That his work would change a nation,


But your heart would be shattered.

Does it help to know he mattered?


Did you know your little babies would grow up without their daddy,

That your husband wasn’t coming home one day?


If you had known, Coretta, would you still have loved him,

Or turned around and simply run away?

A Highlight of My Year!

This is my second half-marathon, but last year I did 9 PM to 9 AM, so that I could attend a graduation for my grandson. Took me a week to get over it! But, oh, what fun it was! I was amazed where the mind can go when a prompt leads it. I am so looking forward to creating with all of you tomorrow! Let’s see: coffee, check. chocolate, check. Diet Dr. Pepper, check. Red Bull for emergencies, check. cookies, check. protein bars, check. And ice — lots of ice — check! Oh, yes. Paper, pens, computer, check! Sock to put on the doorknob so I won’t be disturbed ;), check. Looks like all I need is a good night’s sleep. Pillow and blankie, check! See you guys on the morrow!

What the World Needs Now

What the World Needs Now


There’s only one thing lacking,

Anywhere you go.

There’s only one thing missing,

Don’t you know.


Famine and drought and pestilence,

Crime and drugs and need.

Anywhere we look on Earth,

There’s poverty, hunger, and greed.


So many, many problems.

Is there anything to do?

I hold that one solution

Would make the world like new.


If we could love each other,

We’d come up with a way

To fix the other problems.

It might only take a day.


If we had love, respect and love

For people everywhere,

There’d be enough to go around,

For folks would want to share.


What the world needs now

Is love, sweet love.

That’s the only thing

There’s just too little of.






Memories of My Mother

Memories of My Mother


  1. You thought I wouldn’t understand, I guess.

Talking to your friend, Mickey and Joan and I watching.

You said to your friend, “I always said when I grew up

I was going to have five children born two years apart,

and they’re all going to have black hair and blue eyes.”

Then, motioning to us, “And there stand three kids with

brown hair and brown eyes!”

It was my first gut punch.

I was six, maybe seven years old.


  1. Replace that button?

There’s no need.

It’ll never be noticed on a galloping horse.


  1. You were teaching Bible School.

The kids were asking you questions about your life.

You said when Mike was born, you and Daddy

really wanted a boy.

And when Moni was born, you both really wanted a girl.

Pointing at me, they asked “What did you want

when she was born?”

It didn’t matter, you said. You already had one of each.

Later, when I said you had embarrassed me, you asked,

What should I have said?

“You should have said you wanted Me!”

And you scoffed and said, “Oh, Posh Tish!”

And walked away.


  1. I was fourteen. We were driving in the car, you and I.

I remember what street we were on.

We were talking about being safe around men.

I suppose you thought you were giving life advice.

You said you’d rather be killed than raped.

What I heard was that you’d rather I be killed than raped.


  1. When Steve, my second son, was born,

You chortled – yes, chortled is the right word –

and said, “There’ll be a war in twenty years.

Lots of baby boys are being born.”

It went all over me, that you would say,

that I was raising my sons

to die young in a war.

How was that even thinkable to you?

City Birds


Laying seven eggs

in the A of the Walgreen’s sign

City birds get by



Nestled in the rafters

of a high-rise parking garage

City birds still sing



The songs of city birds

Sound every bit as sweet

As on lovely country lanes


The Goose

Once on the Interstate in downtown Atlanta

I saw a goose — a beautiful Canada goose —

trapped against the concrete barrier

that separated North from South.


I saw him in a blur

as I whizzed by at 80.

Alive, terrified, he pressed himself as far

from the traffic as he could.

There were so many cars —

there wasn’t room for him to stand up,

to fly, and he must have been hurt

or he wouldn’t have been there at all.


I think of him still sometimes

though it was years ago now.

I wonder now long it took

for him to die in terror.


All he wanted was

to go back home in Spring.


(from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T.S. Eliot)


Let us go then, you and I

when the evening is spread out against the sky,

let us listen to the symphony of frogs

and the rustling song of leaves upon the trees.

Let us revel in the starry Milky Way,

and kneel in dewy grass upon our knees.


Let our glad hearts rejoice at this sweet world,

at fragrant flowers, trailing vines, and touch

with reverent fingers the crimson roses, but not too much.


And let us sit and swing a little while

under the moon’s glad glowing light.

And when the evening starts to chill,

we’ll go inside,

and keep in our hearts

the treasure of this night.