For our dear Betty

with love and precious rememberings.



She pauses for a moment and a far away look comes into her hazel eyes.

She stands in the stillness of a small country kitchen,

And listens to the birdsong from outside the window. 

She hears the jangle of horses pulling a plough,

the chatter of a child and the rhythmic squeaking of a swing.

She forgets for a moment, the boiled fruit-cake in itís tin, Soon to go into the oven of the black wood-burning stove.

The green enamel bowl and the wooden spoon,

Both worn from use, are washed and dried and put away.

She dries her hands on her apron, which has skewed itself to one side.

Then she reaches for her bottle of green hand cream, ďMade with olive oil,Ē the label says.  Her one luxury. 

Unscrewing the lid she taps it into the palm of one work weary hand.

The bottle makes a hollow sound in itís near emptiness. 

She massages the lotion into her hands,

And tucks a stray wisp of wavy hair behind itís bobby pin.

She reflects on her life Ė her husband, the children, and her Christ.

"I am a happy woman" she murmurs to herself.

I have had a good life.


Vonda 30 June 2000