Mon. Jun 24th, 2024


Written by Ken Carman

This was the world she knew
This was the world she knew
This was the world

Little white house
Up on a hill
In the river town
she loved

Next to her organ
On the long, wide shelf
A wind up Christmas church
Plenty of plants and flowers
Tended so well

Oh, if only plants could see
What they’d see
Through the big picture window
Down the gentle slope
Around trees
The Hudson River
flowing gently
sometimes not so gently
in the distance

Chicken Sunday afternoons
after singing
Baptist choir
Playing organ

Hanging clothes
Clothes line wire
next to the garden
she had me weed
Plant seeds

Border collie
Running to and fro
Having far too much fun
from the dog run
In front of a rabbit hutch
And the lazy summer
Fully enclosed
Bug screened
Dangling near
a short cement wall

And if she could
She would recall
the backyard
Where her kids played
near an old wood pile
And Hook Mountain picnics
Chinese birthday dinners

Husband home some nights
tho sometimes on the road
Three boys
One off to war
Two off to school
All the drama
Sometimes Heaven
Sometimes Hell
Of raising a family

Deep inside
death ate at her
And soon
Too soon
what was of her
was left up a lonely hill
overlooking that same river
the church
the town
where we lived

Yes, Mom
All you knew
Has left you
As have those days
That time

The ashes
Of the husband you adored
Poured into a place far away
Opposite ends of the country

But no need to feel alone
Oh, please
Do not feel alone
Where you are
Soon we shall be
As the Hudson still flows
Out to the oceans and seas
Because other families
Hopefully raised as well
As the Jims
the Kens
the Teds
Or the neighbors
Dean, Jerry, Harry and Dell
Are living their lives out
Near here, there and about
that white little house
On top of the hill
In the river town
You loved
©Copyright 2013
Ken Carman
all rights reserved



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Joyce Lovelace
Joyce Lovelace
11 years ago

Not left behind, not far away, each of you very literally carry her within you. Her physical cells of course, some of her memories, the shared air you breathed.
Did you know that it has been proven that a mother retains some of the cells of the sons she carries? (we know sons because it is easier to differentiate their cells from hers) So quite literally, you are all there with her too.

Ken Carman
Reply to  Joyce Lovelace
11 years ago


I know: you mean elsewhere. Just the literal there is some place I’d never want to be. Can you imagine being locked in a box 6 feet underground, no matter how plush?

But yes, I see what you mean. Thank you.

Ken Carman
11 years ago

This was inspired by a feeling I don’t like. I was glad to escape Nyack, but I think back to my days there, and elsewhere, and realize all that’s gone. Oh, the places are still there, but for me: ghosts linger at best. All that happened is as if it never did, and 100 years from know: what’s the difference? Not much.

The schools are gone, or used for something else, people dead and hardly remembered in some cases.

All this feels me with a deep sad sense I just can’t seem to label, other than being part of a generation who knew that generation who is now mostly gone. And the fact we’re not far behind.

As with all emotions I explore them, nourish them, treasure them and turn them into songs, prose and poetry.

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