by Virginia Tolles
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Rated "G" by the Author.
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He was my cousin,
A distant one.
I met him when I was in my forties
and he was seventy.
At our first meeting,
He gave me a recipe.
It was for jalapeño cornbread,
Too hot for my palate.
He was retired from teaching
Art, and he liked to weave.
He had a loom at home
And wove colorful rugs.
He collected cigarette cards.
I’d never heard of them.
They came before my time,
But he had them matted and framed.
He liked African art
And displayed it about his home.
So, too, rooster art,
Worth a gander at a folk museum.
Each time he wrote,
He asked whether I had quit
Smoking, for he had been diagnosed
With the emphysema, which took him.
His words rang in my mind
Each time I lit up or drew a breath.
Finally, I was able to tell him
I had quit using those cancer sticks.
We had another malady in common,
The inability to digest seeds and nuts.
Jim put my fears to rest by sharing
His tips for living with the scourge.
If I didn’t hear from him
Within a certain period of time,
I knew it was time to make some calls.
Yes, he was in the hospital.
Won’t be much longer, now.
The doctor’s said to close the house.
He’ll be in assisted living, now.
I need to go down to see him.
He was at once near and far,
A cousin, yes, but also a friend,
A brother, and even a father.
He wore the hats I needed.
I miss you, Jim.
Tales Along the Way Home: A Story of Growing Faith
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|Reviewed by CJ Heck
|Virginia, this is sad, but what wonderful memories you have of Jim. You each gave of yourself, one to the other, in love. What a beautiful poem of tribute.