Thursday, November 7, 2019

To Be A Spry 103

On this day in 1916 Canada welcomed a baby girl on the Gaspe’ Coast
Who would leave her native land legally after becoming a nurse we all would toast
A child of The Great Depression that struck Canada hard too
Too many siblings to feed and to her grandmother where she grew
A fertile and poetic mind but with a desire to the less fortunate aid
Off to nursing school and then to join to the U.S. emigrant parade
To land as a nurse in a hospital in Spokane close to Farragut Naval Base
Where in due to a sister’s future husband to my father she would come face to face
Marriage vows to be followed by his shipping out to be in the Navy’s deadliest naval bout
The Japanese Navy before Okinawa had suffered too many routs
But the Kamikazes flying toward the invasion fleet had a lot of deadly clout
Through the hail of AAA suicide planes tried to take our ships out
A father on a Large Slow Target prayed it would not become a bull’s eye
As he watched ships by the dozens hit and thousands wounded or die
To live and return to Long Beach and make his wife a future mother
Not discharged and back to the Pacific to over his captain as a chief petty officer hover
I was born and in the Pacific my father decided in the Navy not to stay in
Returned and soon believed that in Alaska fame and fortune we would win
Off to Petersburg where my mom was the hospital’s nursing head
Paid well and in Little Norway  the family fortunes moved ahead
Between bedpans and syringes and the OR, poetry she wrote and published in the press
Along with my father passed on the iambic genes I could not in the future suppress
A divorce and remarriage and from the Island to leave
With her many friends and fellow nurses to her absence grieve
To run a doctor’s office in Coeur d’Alene until colitis forced her to retire
From nursing not life with mycology, college courses, poetry and pottery art to aspire
Lessons taught like the value of hard work and education I will take with me to my grave
A love of reading and creating poetry that causes many to admire and rave
On this day her birthday and had she not left, she would be a spry young 103
Will never forget the cribbage games, love, life lessons and knowledge she gave to me
© November 7, 2019 Michael P. Ridley

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