Last updated: December 27. 2013 8:17PM - 1381 Views

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Neil Carpathios


Contributing Columnist


Some of my favorite poems are those that express love between a child and his or her parent. As a father, and as a son, I know how deeply felt this relationship can be from either side of the equation. My own mother is now eighty-five years old, a widow, living quietly, and for the most part on her own. So, when I received the poem in the mail for today’s column, I naturally gravitated to it and felt my heart swell.


Tammy Madden Newcomb is originally from Leatherwood, Kentucky. Currently she lives in Pedro, Ohio. She writes that she is “inspired by life, grew up in a Christian home, and hopes to inspire others spiritually.” Here is her poem about her own mother:


Her Autumn Time


I quietly watch as shaking hands


slowly tie shoelaces of leather.


My heart silently cries out in pain


seeing her summer change its weather.


Her beauty has no ending unlike


the vibrant green leaf of her prime.


With steady grace her body changes


as she bows into her autumn time.


Her blue eyes though dimming continue


to maintain their crinkled smile from youth.


Her mind still gleams brightly and retains


each live morsel of God’s holy truth.


I think I’ll call my mother who lives four hours away from here. I can see her in her chair, watching the TV or looking at a magazine, maybe snoozing. I don’t think she’ll mind the interruption, even if she is sleeping. I need to hear her voice after reading this tender poem. Maybe she needs to hear mine. I will tell her about my week and inquire about hers. I will crawl through the phone line in my mind and kiss her on the cheek. “Her beauty has no ending”—I love that line. And I know it’s true. Some beauties never wilt or fade within the heart, even if the body’s shell wears out over time. Thanks to Tammy for these words, this reminder, and the blessing of poetry.


Address poem submissions and correspondence to: ncarpathios@shawnee.edu or Neil Carpathios, Shawnee State University, Dept. of English & Humanities, 940 Second Street, Portsmouth, OH 45662. (740-351-3478).

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