“Does it matter? Grace is everywhere.”

When does it?


Some might ask, When “does it matter?”

If Grace is here, can pain be here?

An essential question regarding infertility, and loss, and cancer.

If grace is everywhere, can suffering occur anywhere? anyday?


I am the wrong person to ask, of course.

My life has more happiness than struggle.

Who else gets to spend a day playing with poetry?

But my friendship with God feeds my trust everyday.


My daughter and niece never conceived.

God stayed with them in the good lives that each chose for living on.

Bill and Jim and Joe have each buried children.

God gave them Grace to get through that pain, everyday.


Mom fought Cancer and won twice, of the three times.

Angels helped, feeding her hope that she could finish her tasks, and she did.

Pain can be found everywhere, and angels with soothing courage come around.

God’s Grace is everywhere, everyday.


By Nancy Ann Smith,   Amherst, Ohio.     June 27, 2020    Poetry Marathon

The last line of the book Earth Crammed With Heaven  by Elizabeth A. Dreyer, is “Does it matter? Grace is everywhere.”

Visiting Aunt RoseAnn

Visiting RoseAnn in the land of In-between

Simultaneously sweet and strange

Overstuffed furniture, afghans, Comfortable and cheery.

Her eldest, widowed son’s home.


90-year-old Rose outlived sisters, brothers, her only daughter, and one of her sons.

Her home with too many steps and too much yard work is where she wants to be.

She lives in the anticipatory state.  “Take me home,” but her sons never do.

“Home” is real and metaphorical.  They aren’t ready to let go.




Moonshadow is a strange song

“If I ever lose my hands, I won’t have to work no more.”

Is this searching for a bright spot in a tragic loss?

If I ever have to give up working, it will sadden me to my core.


I do not remember seeing a shadow created by the moon

Maybe the next late night, with a full or new moon will take me out the door,

just to look and see, are there shadows then?

or is it just Cat Stevens’ lore?


By Nancy Ann Smith,   Amherst,  OHio

June 27, 2020    Poetry Marathon



A strange day for Goldilocks was two years to the day later 

after eating their porridge, bursting the chair. and sleeping in their littlest bed:


They had chased me to the treeline,  and lifted fists in the air — Do not return!

But on this anniversary, this heat of early Spring gives me a sense of lethargy,

(Grandpa loves to teach me BIG words.)

and an overwhelming urge to return to their cave-home in the woods.

I have never ever had such a lovely nap!  or visited a more charming homey cave!

Could I wear a mask?   No, they would need to see my friendly smile.

Perhaps if I bring a gift.

My birthday present bottle of honey, from The Firefly Fairy Farm might do.

My Mom knows I want to visit the bears, but she wants me to settle for less,

“just do a Zoom meeting with the children’s department of the City Zoo.”

She just doesn’t understand; and darn, she locked the door.

She thinks this human cottage is where I should always be.


by Nancy Ann Smith    Amherst, Ohio

June 27, 2020    Poetry Marathon







Emoji poetry?

Emoji Smoji

I am sixty-nine today

too old to find pics.


Emojis today

plenty more than smiles and hearts

a new language. why?


Emojis? — no thrills

our pulchritudinous words

are enough for me.


by Nancy Ann Smith,  Amherst, Ohio

June 27, 2020       Poetry Marathon

Season of the Teen-aged Children

Oh, there are ups and downs in parenting!

Each son and daughter gave me pride and tears

Pride that swelled my heart and livened my step

When I see some strength that grew from us — me?

Tears against self — failing to do it right

Did I not discipline? love? teach enough?


The girls demanded all bedrooms clean

Conscientious — often, but not always.

Sons refused to “perpetrate” brand name clothes

competed to see who’d have the first car

Earned money by mowing and shoveling

Oh, but when they drank whatever they drank

broken arm!  burned building! hard lessons learned!

All turned out well, but oh the road was rough.


By Nancy Ann Smith     Amherst, Ohio

June 27, 2020    Poetry Marathon

Favorite Day

An ideal day:

Waking to an aroma:

wintry morn:  eggs and peppers and mushrooms and onions frying

any other season: the gentle breeze carries the perfume of budding or flowering plants outside the window.

breakfast fuels my body, preparing me for whatever tasks are awaiting me

hot tea (with a full spoon of sugar and a piece of lemon or lime) is my favored tasty accompaniment to add sweet warmth and liquid to my breakfast.

Morning pleasantries:

Hearing friendly greetings, whether at work or here at home with birds singing their thanks for the bird food that I give generously because I love their birdsongs.   Sometimes the grandchildren visit and mow or otherwise maintain the land husband and I can hardly keep up with.

Smelling whatever is in the air is usually a likable experience.  Grass, flowers, neighbor’s apple trees are all nice smells that energize; while not so nice smells — such as a deer carcass that the vultures have been picking at — compel me to get some lime dust to cover the carcass and speed the process of feeding the land.

Checking emails is a common task whether at home or at work.   Reading messages activates my brain with joy or problem solving.   Messages from family or friends are simple reminders, easy requests, or good questions.  In this phase of life, I am working part-time for a Community Action Agency, so any problem solving is invigorating.   We are always striving to help those who need assistance, and we often find ways to do that.

Lunch and dinner are savoring times for the tongue.   Cleaning up pans and dishes are never a bother anymore since the two of us don’t create much of a challenge for warm soapy water, accompanied by a cloth or a scrubby.

Evenings are best when we meet with the writer friends.   Hearing their current projects is a terrific thrill — even more thrilling than a polished book is the raw beauty of a work in progress.   When we are able to meet in person, there are delicious treats to add the sweetest flair to an already delightful evening.

Our evenings usually close with a game of Backgammon, because it is good for the mind to have some steady traditions.   And our brains get exercised because we are well matched in skill.

If there are any other pleasures in these ideal days, those under the covers thrills are for us to muse about, but not publish.


By Nancy Ann Smith,  Amherst, Ohio

June 27, 2020   Poetry Marathon




Looking up

3  Haiku poems


I’m looking upward

the fresh yellow buds of Spring

promising future.


Spring buds appearing

framing a sweet blue sky

viewed when slipped on mud.


Spring buds remind me

winter work is done for now

start planting flowers!

Hey, Mom

Hey, Mom, Here’s the latest happy news,

Andre — your first great-grandchild — is getting married

he was just 12 when you ran out of time with us.

The whole world has this Covid-19 to worry about

but I know what you want to hear:

the glories and the struggles of your dearest ones.


Your parish is struggling, as are most around the world.

You and Fr. Tom must be helping behind the scenes

as Fr. Ratar has been doing more than seems possible

for two parishes now!   The priest shortage is showing.

The younger generation continues to take church — and God — for granted.

And now the older generation is quarantined at home with the Covid-19 virus.


Your home for those years of building the family is still in the family.

Your grand-son, Joe, and his kids live there, and recently gave it a fresh coat of paint

light blue in the front room, 1st paint experience for 21-year-old Joey, and Amanda;

Lesi, supervising, and paid for by big Joe’s wallet, thickened by overly over time.

New sweets outside, too; white siding, black trim, greenery under the front window

Their biggest struggles are employment and money — remind you of the past?


Your sister Rose, and cousin Katie, are still here; 90 yr-old matriarchs of the family

Your God-son, Rob, has his Mom living with him, and she asks everyone who calls

to take her home.   Her boys aren’t willing to let go.  They know she wants home

to you, and Jesus, and all the rest.

Aunt Katie still drives to the store once a week; babysits a dog for a recovering friend

since she outlived all her beloved pets.  She prays a lot, and the world needs it.


We kids of yours are all doing whatever we can – some great stuff, some rough stuff.

Claudia’s been struggling, feeling unloved in the midst of those who love imperfectly.

John and Dan doing OK.  Bill’s been in the hospital twice this year and it’s only June.

He’s fixing the world in ways that make you proud, but it takes so much body and soul.

Jim is getting angry, this Covid-19 virus and world insecurity is hardest on him I think.

Linci’s marching to her own drum- at the front of the protest line- protecting, helping.


I miss you.   I look forward to seeing you again, someday.

with Love from your firstborn, and most fortunate daughter.



Being a big boy from the start, my younger brother became the hero

to watch out for the frailer brother with the taunting bravado

gaining a reputation for fixing — liking that reputation a lot.

Built up his savings, to ensure helping his kids when he was gone

but Wall Street came to a precipice; so too his effort to be a full time Grandpa.

his back damaged by years of over-time fixing; his hero image dimmed.

Broken mirrors distort the view

Bro’s Grandsons were rowdy by nature; schools closed; daughter was overwhelmed;

Bro invited the boys to stay for the Summer, parks and back yard projects made it great

for a while.

The stock market is unstable, his investments are tenuous, steep losses are ugly.

How to fix it?

Temporary fixes in vape pens and such

Voices sound like Mom sometimes

driving him to hold on, but . . .

Broken Mirrors Distort

Sells off investments;  and  Grand-kids go back to their Mom and Dad

Spends the money the way Mom would have, if she had ever had a nest-egg.

Revived his yard; new fence for him, another for the struggling neighbor

Backaches prohibit mowing his own; hires neighborhood guys who need the work

Cut my yard, and cut that neighbor’s, and those neighbors too.

But his efforts somehow don’t measure up — hasn’t fixed the world, yet.

Needing a better mirror!


by Nancy Ann Smith,  Amherst, Ohio

June 27, 2020   Poetry Marathon




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