Liberty, Idaho (mid-1960s) in front of Aunt Ella's house. Adults, left to right:
Aunt Ella Matthews Hymas, Scott Simpson Hymas, Eva Hymas, Luella Matthews Hymas,
Front, my older children: Kimberli Susan Hymas, Scott Bradford Hymas.
Aunt Ella is Luella's aunt and Eva's mother. Luella and Ella are married to brothers.
Luella is the mother of Scott and the grandmother of Kimberli and Scott Bradford.
I am taking the picture; it's a nice one, don't you think?
The calendar is full but the future is blank.
The wires hum the folk-tune of some forgotten land.
Snow-fall on the lead-still sea. Shadows
scrabble on the pier.
In the middle of life, death comes
to take your measurements. The visit
is forgotten and life goes on. But the suit
is being sewn on the sly.
The Deleted World; versions by Robin Robertson,
Farrar Strauss Giroux, 2111, page 31.
Don't get mad at me because death is in this poem! Don't freak out! It's really everywhere . . .
This is a poem in two parts of merely eight lines. But what a freight it carries.
Pay special attention to the consonant sounds, particularly the sound of the letter l.
Say the last two lines of the first section over several times. Listen!
Look at the elegant and simple beauty of the poem's arrangement on the page.
And remember to visit your family whenever you can!