Along My Garden Path

Poems by Holly Schwartztol

For Mother’s Christmas

Every year I swore
I’d get home to New York for your Christmas fete

To mingle with those folks who came year
after year as one close group merry at your table

Did I really think
you’d never leave us?
that time would wait?

For me to fly to your door to celebrate
the winter solstice and Christmas cheer

I’ll rely on childhood memories of Christmases past
the tree we’d lug home on Christmas eve
to hang those precious Santas, balls and tinsel
and watch as those colored lights
came on and we sang our carols and Tom Lehrer

How I wish I’d gone when you were here
welcoming those who did come
and share and who I know are
also missing those nights you gave
every blessed year

Every year I swore
I’d get home to New York

The Hands Lament

We’ve been everywhere you’ve gone
foreign shores and grocery stores
from dusk to dawn
and all your chores

From your morning shower
to preparing for your bed
we’ve never seen you cower
with so much germy dread

As a child you’d wash us
before a meal
or your mom would fuss
and make a big deal

We look at you with wonder
now you wield soap
from home to yonder
and wonder how you’ll cope

You must not touch your face
you mustn’t share a hug
you wash us every place
you might catch a nasty bug

So we ask you dear Holly
we your trusted hands
is this just folly
can we meet your new demands

As the virus lurks around
on metal and fabric and doors
we gaze up as you’ve found
ways to clean out all the spores!

Through Seventy’s Eyes

Inside thoughts could be twenty-five
though seven decades I’ve been alive
watching people who’re nearing thirty
it won’t do for me to be flirty

But tell that to my brain
or my friend who sports a cane
why does the world not see
we’re still the younger we

The mirrors may reveal
lines I’d rather conceal
I claim the light’s not right
and disregard this sight

This thing’s as old as time
and fitting for this rhyme
inside I’m not so old
I’ve stories to be told

 

Holly W Schwartztol is a poet, novelist, teacher and retired psychologist. She finds poems tend to present themselves and she has to write them down immediately. Her poems have placed in the Faulkner writing competition for over four years. Holly has written three novels: Sherry and the Unseen World (2005), What We Tell (2012) and Coming Around Again (2019).

She consults with other authors, encouraging them to find their unique voices and is a popular teacher of memoir writing. When not writing, Holly spends time doing jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, singing, studying mediumship, and talking with her lifelong friends.

A past president of several professional organizations including the South Florida Writers Association (SFWA), The Dade County Psychological Association (Holly holds a PhD in Psychology) and the Florida Society of Clinical Hypnosis, she serves as an editor of Authors Voice, the monthly publication of SFWA.

Holly lives in eastern Florida with her husband, Robert. They have three children and five grandchildren.

She leads book club discussions of her books and poetry—during the pandemic on Zoom and on Free Conference Call. Contact her at DrHollySchwartztol@Yahoo.com.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY VINCENT OSTERTAG

 

 

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