Friday, 1 February 2019
TO MY ANGELIC STEPMOTHER, a poem by Thomas Hoskyns Leonard
TO MY ANGELIC STEP MOTHER
As Gwen lies ageless in her peaceful nursing home,
I recall meeting her when she to fair Madison did roam,
Yon thirty-four years with Capt'n Cecil,
The Farmers' Market on the Capitol Square then so peaceful.
And we from above the wild Mississippi at Winona did peer
At forty miles of wondrous bliss
From Wyalusing to Lake Pepin, and beyond,
Where the paddleboats and barges sped like ducks,
And Nature itself was once conspired,
Around Wisconsin she would drive us,
Automatic and gearless, no less;
Devil's Lake and Fish Creek we equally blessed,
And aways to Yellowstone, Cancun, and New York New York,
They sometimes went.
And when nine days by Fisherman's Wharf we spent,
The San Fran cable cars for 15 cents
Through Chinatown received full vent.
The Japanese tea garden, Cliff House, and Marin County
Were among Gwen's favourite haunts
Particularly when the maroon double decker took us on a jaunt
When I returned to Jannerland in Fall of 95,
Gwen and Cecil in their tiny cottage in
Ancient Plympton lived,
Where Leonards from Roberts once sprung.
Captain of Plympton Woman's Bowling Team,
Mother of three generations,
She flew like Daedalus, when eighty, in Japan,
And cherished my dear father.
When both blind and deaf was he.
Maybe it was at Auntie Vera's final party at Uncle John's
That we last met,
Or at Cawsands and the plush Barbican,
When Brod brought in his trans-Atlantic wreck,
And my family were in total bonhomie
And then she became the voice on the long distance phone.
The one on whom I could rely;
Our eternal friendship nobody can deny.