My life is abundant with enriching gatherings —

maybe God spoils me with these,

parishioners, praying friends, generous with time and selves

like even more family..


Nativity is a Catholic parish that has welcomed me

warmly smiling and chatting and encouraging my ideas

sharing prayer stories, so that

weekly Mass is a treasured gathering.


Friends who also enjoy writing gather together monthly

bringing their new creative writing, or found gems.

Sharing snacks, general conversation.

Mostly, we hunger for each other’s next piece.


The Summer Family Reunion gatherings bring together lots of aunts, uncles. and cousins

Grandparents married two families together — Anna and Patrick Callahan married

James and Sadie Boyle, some decades ago and we keep trying to stay connected.

Summertime, 2022 will resume the picnic, fun after the pandemic pause.


A Lincicomes’ Family gathering for Christmas has been held at my home,

the eldest child of one of the first Boyle America

My Irish trait of storytelling, and the children answer questions

to get their pick of the visible Christmas presents.


Gatherings, big and small, are generally feasts of food,

favorite beverages, shared clean-up, catching up, sharing news,

new babies. achievements, tricks learned, graduations, and retirements.

Gatherings that make us feel loved are special blessings indeed.


By Nancy Ann Smith, Poetry Marathon Prompt # 12,  June 25, 2022





Two New Boys in the Family

For Garrett, a shy first-born, his world is Mommy, Daddy,the dogs and a few.

When his loving Momma pulls out the camera,

He sometimes gets lost in the joyful moments

indoors or outdoors, in handsome clothes or comfy pajamas.


When daddy swings him upside down and swooping through the air,

Garrett’s face lights up from a smile to a wide-open jubilant noise.

When Mommy plays peek-a-boo, he strains his head,

and when she is found, his happiness is loud and contagious.


Vinny was born to Garrett’s Daddy’s youngest Aunt

just a few days after Garrett. so in a sitting side-by-side picture

they both look at each other curiously, their sizes matching.

Vinny is not so shy, with brothers in college, and a sister in junior high.


A favorite picture of Vinny shows him held by Kelsey near the Christmas tree

He stares adoringly.  Months later, he has found his voice for MA MA MUM

Vinny is more impish, and you can tell by his delighted outburst at realizing he

is on Mom and Dad’s bed, not stuck in the crib, and the gleeful noise proclaims his delight.


Both boys are becoming adept at maneuvering around.

First crawls can be seen with serious focus at first, then a growing smile,

and when they catch Mom or Dad  watching, it is sudden hilarity.

Even without words, it is so much fun and such a joke to gain more territory.


By Nancy Ann Smith,  Poetry Marathon #11,  June 25, 2022


A Strange Zoo

On the thirty-second day of January

I visited the strange new zoo

so I could say, “I’ve been there, too!”


The monkeys were lazy and sleeping a lot,

The elephants were trying to hide

and as I walked by, the hyenas just cried.


The eagle was such a bore, because he would not soar,

The polar bear wandered into the tropic zone

while the whale and the penguin fought over my ice cream cone..


What a strange zoo, indeed!


By Nancy Ann Smith,  Poetry Marthon Prompt #10,  June 25, 2022

Elbow Macaroni Sustenance

Growing up happy, we regularly

ate macaroni

with cheese, or hamburger

or summer vegetables.


A staple in the cupboard

versatility in a box. filling our bellies.

Mom gave the cheapest version

the name that was most fun to say.


Slum-gulligan rolled off our tongue

verbally, with a smile,

but stayed on the tongue

just until swallowed.with another smile.


That was macaroni with tomato sauce, because the

fancy sauce was gone, and no more grocery dollars,

and a can of corn for extra vitamins and extra filling for

growing kids – a whole bunch of kids.


We liked that macaroni so much,

that when pay checks were more plentiful,

we insisted on keeping

macaroni in the cupboard.


By Nancy Ann Smith,  Poetry Marathon Prompt #9,  June 25, 2022



A Gigan Poem for my Gigantic Ideals

1 Nancy is such a day-dreamer.

2 and possibly a teacher and peacemaker.


3 She once came to school late, and instead of hurrying,

4 her sixth grade teacher  — and classmates — watched as she stopped

5 in the park across the street to watch a squirrel play.


6 She loves stories, imagining herself there

7 in short stories or novels, and with visuals on TV or film


8 Likable characters, of the present, or the past,

9 redeemable folks can draw her in.


10 especially late blooming heroes and saints.

11 Nancy is such a day-dreamer.


12  She loves stories, imagining herself there

13 applying what she read in stories

14 Like expecting Johnnie Tremain to be as brave as George Washington


15 Sometimes a real life friend, child, or sibling can gain confidence

16 from such idealistic expectations.  Sometimes just seek other advice.


By Nancy Ann Smith, Poetry Marathon, prompt #8,   June 25, 2022



A Precious Mother-Daughter Moment



Storytelling, captures her attention.

She loved hearing about a fellow

taking a wonderful three country vacation

and seeing an old telephone

and a sign in three languages

in a corner of each church

in each country:

“Call Heaven, five minutes, and (the cost)”

The story had not yet reached the finale,

she is totally engaged.

She loves her Momma, and good stories.


By Nancy Ann Smith for Poetry Marathon  Prompt #7 ,  June 25, 2022

A Greeting From Aunt Leona

Hello, Nancy,

It is such a sweet gift —

permission to write you this letter.

God -as wonderful as we thought- gave me special permission

because something is coming

I am just to remind you of your reservoirs of love.


Remember in 1977,

when so many things were happening

turning you toward less dependent, more deliberate?

Oh, you didn’t see it that way.


The lay off,

the shut-off of the gas

and the phone,

paying the gas bill

only to find that the gas company could not reconnect

because there was a leak —


Those all seemed cruel facts of life,

but you were aware of the bills

from that point on.

Being a busy mom to two toddler boys,

a preschooler, and an almost first grader

kept you too dependent

but you needed to be aware.


That was also the summer when your cousin, Jimmy,

died from the motorcycle injuries.


You were right that God let me visit you

when the sadness felt too much to bear.

You knew that lovely scent of White Linen cologne,

as well as you knew that you were my dearest niece.


We both enjoyed dancing you around the living room

as your late afternoon fussing turned into giggles of delight.

As you grew to be a school girl

you loved getting up early to go to morning Mass

before I went to work,

we developed quite a bond.


You enjoyed being so loved — and somewhat spoiled. —

Losing Jimmy taught you

appreciate everyone while they are with you.

Your friends have been encouraged by the attention.


Your life has been blessed with a lot of love

sincere and generous love

in your parents, siblings, children, aunts

Do not waste time thinking of regrets.

God really does give us ALL that we need

when tough things come along.


That is how it is.

You will not always have the days or results you expected,

but you will always have loving care surrounding you.

God has you ready — and supported in the ways that count.

With Love from one of your favorites,

Aunt Leona Callahan



The Garage Building Adventure

We can manage the cost and inconvenience

to have another workshop

with saws, drills, wrenches, clamps, etc

and a space to park and protect the car and riding mower.


The cement floor will be Plain Jane pavement,

Hooks will keep tools within easy reach,

a drawer will hold the screws, nails, drill bits and such.

No need for fancy oak or cherry wood.


At the cost of clearing the rock garden with its sunflowers

and poke berry bushes — beautiful wild nature —

we will be practical, cars will not be at the mercy

of Ohio winter storms. wearing out batteries.


A collection of manuals, mostly soft cover, some Oxford Dictionary- sized.

The Chilton’s Manuals, now as rare as hardback books on carpentry,

stored on a shelf, away from the sawdust.

No sense knitting pretty things, where practicality rules.


Next week it will be completed, and it will be

celebrated with cheddar cheese and real wine glasses —

much fancier than the satchel of crackers and juice drinks

that I offered as Irish hospitality.


By Nancy Ann Smith,   Poetry Marathon prompt #5,  June 25, 2022


1922, Ireland

1922, Ireland


Michael Collins took on a task

that reminds me too much

of Sisyphus, the Greek mythological king

punished for continued misleading.


Sisyphus was forced to push a large boulder Uphill

a difficult task for sure!

Michael Collins, too, is expected to push

the long suffering people to a common solution.


But Long-suffering people expect to be happier

than the people with power, who are thinking they have to give up

some of their hard-earned gains.

Neither side thinks the other side is giving enough.


Michael Collins fought with his friends

on the battlefields of independence.

But when he was elected to represent

he stopped living amongst the friends.


Political agreements were harder to find.

Suspicions were not measurable,

except in the shocking street killings.

Peace was harder to win



By Nancy Ann Smith,  Poetry Marathon Prompt #4,   June 25, 2022

Two Cello Story

The two cellos played

together, music foretold

their detours managed.


The two cellos spoke

with the soothe of melody

some variation


Husband and wife share,

their story tells of living —

not all unity.


Life, so like music,

ahhhhhh, sometimes,  sweetly in sync,

other times on hold.


By Nancy Ann Smith, Poetry Marathon #3, June 25, 2022

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