Poetry by Deborah P. (Debby) Cooper
FROM THE CHAPBOOK Rays of Light
The only grandma that my kids have known
Lies tethered to the earth by tubes and mask.
Apparently you've left this world behind--
The fragile body's here, but spirit's flown.
Don't stay because of tears upon each face--
Departure's rightfully your chief concern.
We'll cheer you on your way if you depart
To offer your great love some other place.
We'd selfishly restore you to full health,
But if it's time, find newly opened doors.
Reclaim a youth to match your spirit's age,
And know you gave immeasurable wealth.
FROM THE CHAPBOOK Feline/Canine
A CAT SPEAKS
Yes, I'm a hunter, I will munch
On little critters, so beware!
Run quickly, or you'll be my lunch.
That's my nature, for I am a cat.
You're surprised to hear me speak?
Well, tough for you--I can't help that.
This popularity of dogs
Is very puzzling to us cats.
In mental depth, dogs rate with logs.
Some humans seem to think it's fun
To be fawned on, be the Alpha
--To be, in short, Dog Number 1.
Ancient Egyptians got it right
In perceiving us as sacred to
Their goddesses (they saw the light).
The cat's a natural patrician.
If you love one, you've got good taste.
If one loves YOU, you're a magician.
FROM THE CHAPBOOK Pizza for Breakfast
WHAT WE ATE AT CAMP
For portions of five summers, I attended camp
On the shores of Laurel Lake. On clear days
We could see a mountain named Monadnock.
(For years I didn't realize our camp songs
Included many '50's Broadway hits
From Damn Yankees, Pajama Game, etc.)
The stuff that I remember most was not
Archery or crafts or swimming, not even
Horseback riding (optional at extra cost).
Campers there got work assignments
On regularly rotating schedules.
Helping out in dining hall I rather liked.
You who know me well may be surprised
To hear this, since I am famous for
Intolerance of duties in the kitchen.
At times, those on dining hall assignment
Helped compile everybody's favorite meal
--We campers took its name for granted.
The ingredients: ground meat, tomatoes,
Macaroni, onions, spices. With no thought
Of implications, we called it "train wreck."
FROM THE CHAPBOOK Grandma's Top 40
Hello, dear Dad. I'd give a lot
To see again your cheerful grin.
I miss you since you traveled on
To greener pastures than we've got.
Your financial stuff's all laid to rest.
Your orphan checks all got devoured
By our ever-hungry office shredder
(It snarls and slices with the best).
As towers of spaghetti paper grew,
I felt as orphaned as those checks--
The closing of your bank accounts
Felt like cutting my last tie with you.
I wish we'd meet once in a while--
For news and poetry, and your
Reminder that the way to greet
Both life and death is with a smile.
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