A Poem for You (1991)

This poem is from my first chapbook, And So My Soul (2001, out of print).

I taped up a picture of you
It must have been your last
Healthy Christmas – long overdue,
But you understand
I know you do.

And I’m up early to have some
Time alone before teaching, too
And I understand even more now
You know I do.

Mom’s doing better now…
She told me how you stood
Between two railroad cars
All the way from Washington D.C.
To Chicago after World War II.

And I’m teaching my heart out
Giving essay tests, too
Pouring out my soul
Like you used to do.

It’s Christmas again, and I
Taped up a picture of you
I’m writing poems and
Taking walks – doing fine
But missing you
Has not ceased with time.

Published in Midwest Poetry Review (1993); Bell’s Letters (1993); The Spirit of Christmas (1994, Weems Concepts).

My mother loved this poem.

Ellen Grace Olinger