Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Poetic Remembrance

Frieda Burdette and son Steven Shultz.
Barbara's grandson Steve (pictured with mom Frieda) read this poem he wrote about his grandparents a few years ago:

My Grandma goes to Wal-Mart
To see the military babies of many races
A life lived loudly through the decades
Husbands married and divorced
Husbands deceased
Jobs held, children reared
Two to be exact
Then a bunch of precious grandchildren
Five in the desert where she came to be near
For her sons are now gone
Cancer and a car wreck

This woman - daughter of fiery Ukrainian immigrants
Daughter of Brooklyn
Running through the streets of that now-troubled borough
In a time more innocent, when the century was young
Going home only when hungry
Back pig-tails flying
Red flame burning, even then
Inside the heart of a little girl
Beginning a long, fitful, proud life
With roots running deep
And branches reaching far

Several decades, several cities
And a few mobile home parks into the future
And Grandma is fit and radiant in her' 80s
Living life in the high desert
In love with a man, in a union stronger
Than most the world has to offer
It is her reward (and his)
For daring to live
Life on their own terms

And when they go to Wal-Mart each day
To sip coffee and see the military babies
There's no hint of tragedy
No wisp of sadness
Only the aura
Of two lives
Who have risen high in this world

S. Shultz