Under the Ziegler Oak

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Did you ever read a poem an think, “I think I could write one like that!” Perhaps you might even have the audacity to think you could do one better! This is what I thought a couple of years ago when my sister sent me a poem, by Helen Hay Whitney, called With Music. The poem was a good one, but to me was very depressing. I thought I could write one from my own experience, using the same format, but changing the words to make it more positive and upbeat. See what you think.

 

Under the Ziegler Oak

Yes dear, we did meet in some clear yesterday?

I distinctly remember how the cool breezes blew

Among green grass and shade of our oak,

And on the grass, beside the tree, we lay

In early twilight; faintly, far away,

Came lovely sounds adrift from the mocking bird above,

With answered echoes of a scolding blue jay,

While twilight waited tiptoe, fain to stay.

Her Brown eyes were sweet with innocent mystery.

You looked in mine, as the music rose and fell

Like little, lisping melodies of the sea;

Our souls were joined, our voices in harmony rose—

Golden words, a note, a line, who can tell?

Soft—music rising—I recall it all.

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(Written in contrast to the poem

“With Music”

by Helen Hay Whitney)

“With Music” was published in “Sonnets and Songs”

(Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1905).

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Opposites Attract

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I heard that opposites attract. This was true of my Grandparents who died when I was six years old. Grandpa was strong and composed and Grandma was outgoing and full of energy. She tended to be impatient at times, but was a loving caring person. I am writing a biographical fiction about their life. Much of what was passed down is only a few sentence describing events in their life. I am taking those events and embellishing them with what I think might have occurred.  This poem is an example of one event, their courtship and marriage. The earlier poem, Goodbye Little Sister, is another event I decided to write about. I hope to have a book of stories for my grandchildren about their life  that are based on facts, but stories made up by me.

Opposites Attract

Strong young Christian a hard-working man

Living miles away with his Ohio clan

A concrete mason and veterinarian on the side

Tall and handsome with a smile you can’t hide

Folks from Pennsylvania traveled west to visit

Family and friends and church folks that fidget

Daughter Linda a young beauty vivacious

A smart young woman with smile infectious

Christian a reserved guy and not too forward

Found this outgoing girl not backward

She made her way to him through the mingle

Introducing herself her smile made him tingle

She told him her story of a valley so big

Between Jack’s and Stone Mountains where they all lived

Amish and Mennonites with red barns farmed the land

Dairy cows and alfalfa fields shocking corn by hand

She came back again on the train to be there

Anticipating the visits, he could not wait to see her

It didn’t take long for this smart young woman

To win his heart she didn’t have to woo him

They spent hours together each time that she came

He showed her his work marked with his name

A year of letters and visits to see him

He asked for her hand she didn’t refuse him

Plans were made for a big family wedding

Family and friends all celebrated their joining

They settled in a house at the edge of his town

Raised a family saw tragedy and spread joy all around

Grandpa’s fine concrete lasted a hundred years or more

Grandma’s good heart always looked out for the poor

They left a legacy we all can be proud of

And stories to tell from two opposites we all love

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth