Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Alberts

image from tracey grumbach

The Alberts

Betty and Joe were together
for 63 years, he a dashing sailor
home from the war, her a Florida lass,
sun-kissed and sparkling.

He brought her home to Washington State,
to live on the family dairy farm,
100 acres of lush Buckley plateau;
the only place Joe ever lived.

They had this wide covered porch
that faced southeast, and every morning
they sat in their puncheon thrones,
drinking black coffee and holding hands,
watching the sun rise over Mt. Rainier,
looming large over their pastures.

Joe passed on first, when he was 85,
succumbing to a respiratory problem,
as if the rains finally got their revenge
when pneumonia stole his last breath.

Betty hung on for another year,
but her heart wasn’t in it, this droll life
without Joe, the empty bed,
the empty table, the empty hands.

One morning she just decided not to rise,
nestled alone in their conjugal blankets,
hearing him call to her softly above
the cowbird’s cluck, as dawn
readied itself to touch their old chairs.

Their son ran the place now, an absentee farmer,
and every day that he walked by the empty house,
he noticed that the white and green chairs
were still touching each other.

Glenn Buttkus

April 2012

Posted over on dVerse Poets-Poetics

Would you like to hear the author recite this poem for you?


Claudia said...

nice...and they're still holding hands and drinking black coffee...they have just changed the place...smiles

Brian Miller said...

smiles...a connection that continued well after he passed and even after she joined him...and perhaps in seeing their togetherness the son will catch on a bit himself...smiles.

Susie Clevenger said...

Beautiful..both my parents are gone now, but I swear the come to visit me in the form of bluebirds. They were married for 63 years.

Beachanny said...

Lovely use of the image in the story of love, life, aging and moving on. Seems so orderly when it's a natural progression unlike the horrors and tragedies, this is a tale of two lives lived and loved. Poignantly portrayed.

Henry Clemmons said...

Very touching. Not long ago, I returned from visiting my father in Argentina, who still refuses to let anone sit in moms chair. Enjoyed the read greatly.

Anonymous said...

I love this part, Glenn:
"he a dashing sailor
home from the war, her a Florida lass,
sun-kissed and sparkling"

But "her" should be "she," which will also create a nice rhyme with "he" and add to the alliteration.

Great visual and sound:
"nestled alone in their conjugal blankets"

My favorite is the touching chairs at the end. So sweet. :)
"they sat in their puncheon thrones,
drinking black coffee and holding hands"

Heaven said...

Very nice story...the images of the chairs touching is a testament to a love well lived ~

Tracey from ⓽ said...

Oh, Glenn! I loved this interpretation of my image. I am honored and touched by your words, especially hearing you recite it aloud, the way it should be...allowing our ears to soak in the beautiful sounds of your words.

Thank you for this. Your couple reminded me so much of my grandparents...their story was very similar.

Semaphore said...

That final image of the chairs gently touching each other - that is the image that will linger long in the reader's heart.

Anonymous said...

This week's words are up, Glenn; we missed you last week.