Posts Tagged ‘epistle poetry’


An epistle to the ghost of Nick

september 2012


Remember, Nick?
You winked, called me a sweetheart,
while someone else scoffed in skepticism
and laughed, ‘well… he doesn’t have to live with you.’
But I hugged your words, kept them close to my heart
even if you were a rather cantankerous old flirt.

They cut down your trees, Nick.
‘Would you mind terribly?’ I wonder.
Or, would you be glad for me
that they no longer shade my flowers
and drop their brown needles in my garden?

I miss you Nick.

Why just the other day,
and with another neighbor,
your name came up in conversation.
‘Now where’s his card?’
When found, I had to rub my eyes a bit
to see through the fierceness
into the face of the gentle man
we both called friend.

We reminisced, my new neighbor and I,
at the thought of those old coveralls
and felt beret that so proudly adorned your lanky self,
no matter what the weather or occasion
no matter what the time of day.

‘Like Betty who’s grown to look like
the pug she walks every day,’

we chuckled together and surmised that
you were an artist who resembled your art
and seemed as old as time (meant in the most loving way).
Craggy, stern, and keen facial features
could have been chiseled from stone or forged from the metal
you shaped into sculptures that decorate our town.

‘Oh, Nana, is that Ariel?’
my darling young grandaughters would ask
when looking out my kitchen window at your mermaid sculpture.
Did I ever tell you Nick?
That provocative, egotistical iron lady hanging
from your flagpole and lovingly adoring her reflection
in that handheld mirror
caused me some real consternation when
having to answer their question.

While mildly annoying when we first became neighbors,
I came to adore the view out my kitchen window.
Watching you come and go on that well-worn path
between house and studio through clutter and dilapidation
was comforting and reassuring.
Did you know how often I saw you make that trek,
as I stood working at my kitchen sink?

Then one morning you weren’t there
and we all immediately knew.
They said you died during the night.

I miss you, Nick.

With me as eager listener,
you had so many stories to tell.
When soft-spoken and kind,
you were so very likable.
When too opinionated and judgmental,
as often happened you must admit,
the vitreous vernacular could put many aside.

You were both this town’s nemesis
and its greatest institution.

I worried for your loneliness
when Alice died.
Loved how you called her ‘little bit.’
Shared the exhaustion of sleepless nights
that found you reveling in times long gone.
Hoped to comfort you with a good meal
when you accepted my dinner invites
and understood when the doorbell never rang.

I’d bring over a bowl of soup and say
‘Enjoy, Nick!’
You’d smile your thanks
and we’d nod in understanding.
The next day I’d find a bundle of rhubarb or
bouquet of lilacs upon my doorstep.

They cut down your trees, Nick.
‘Would you mind terribly?’ I wonder.
Or, would you be glad for me
that they no longer shade my flowers
and drop their brown needles in my garden?


~ julie © september 2012



Written from my desk on this beautiful day in Autumn with thoughts of a friend who would have certainly spent much time today with his friends, the birds of our town’s small nature preserve, down close to water’s edge… and … in response to this week’s prompt at We Write Poems…

Dear Poets of WWP

Thinking of you Nick


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