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"Family 7"


Prologue
She Is At Rest

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I knew the angels came today.
Today they came, took her away-
away across the rainbow lake,
lake rippled gently in their wake.

Wake as she did, she suffered hard;
hard days had left her life so marred.
Marred down with constant hurt and pain,
pain made her feel her soul was slain.

Slain now, she welcomed death with peace.
Peace took control, her misery ceased.
Ceased beat and breath, she lay so still,
still in my arms, 'twas heaven's will.

Will my heart e'er be whole again?
Again I feel where she has been.
Been way too long, yet still I cry...
cry for lost love, for she and I.

Author Notes VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

This was to be an entry to the loop contest, but when I was done I realized I had done it wrong. I did not want it to just be tossed so I am putting it out for review. Loop poetry is to be abab rhyme and I did it in aabb.


Chapter 1
He Soothes My Tears

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My cat is full of mystery
combined with love so perfectly.
He peers so deep into my soul
then works real hard to keep it whole.

My cat will listen close to me
for in my soul he loves to see.
He knows my heart and tells me so
through rumblings very deep and low.

My cat will watch me close, then learns
the moods I feel as if he yearns
to understand my thoughts, my fears
so he can wash away my tears.

He sings of total faith in me
including thoughts so wild and free.
He tells me of his day gone by
and listens if I need to cry.

He lays his paw across my arm
as if to keep me from all harm.
He talks of birds that got away,
then lets me know that he's okay.

He sings his song of pampered bliss,
he licks my arm to share a kiss.
Then when he knows that all's okay,
his eyes he shuts and drifts away.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.


Chapter 2
Hey, World, Step Aside

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Hey, world, you'd better step aside
because I'm here...I'm bone-a-fide.
I'm fancy, schmancy - first to say
pet me right now, I'll make your day.

My fur is soft, you'll lose your mind.
No better friend you'll ever find.
I'll dance around your feet to say,
"Oh, welcome home, how was your day?"

Now, don't you plan to sit a lot.
You think I'm quiet? Well, I'm just not!
I'll bark and bark until you see
that energetic part of me.

Now, throw that ball, you're sitting still.
Come on, I just can't get my fill.
I'll keep you young, now just get up,
'cause ...Me? I am one running pup.

Author Notes Kathy Schipper thank you for permission to use your picture.

This was done per request from Bichon. I hope it is okay.


Chapter 3
haiku (cutting streaks of light)

By Barb Hensongispsaca

cutting streaks of light
tear through Spring's black serene sky
God's own signature

Author Notes SteveANH thank you for permission to use your picture.


Chapter 4
Sunrise/Sunset

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, sunrise...
You are like a kitten
waking from a deep sleep.

A slight fluttering of movement
as the total darkness makes way
for black shadows
even darker than the night.

A yawn, as the sun breaks the horizon,
leading to a s-l-o-w luxurious stretch
to shake off the night's slumber.

Then a full energy powered attack
on earth's senses
as the sun playfully explores
all it can reach.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Oh, sunset...
you are like a puppy
that has played hard all day.

After fully terrorizing
all that lays around you,
you stop for just a minute
to observe.

You begin to tire
sinking down into the soft horizon
as you begin your rest.

Then settle into darkness
while shadows glide along
as sleep overcomes you
and you recharge for tomorrow.

Author Notes supergold thank you for permission to use your picture.

This is for a very dear friend, Tab_that's me. You are not alone.


Chapter 5
The Christmas Gifts of Old

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Just yesterday, I was speaking with a friend of mine. Now I know what you are thinking. This is going to be another long, drawn-out piece of dull and boring stuff. Well, maybe it will be; but, my friend had some valid points and I want to share them with you.

He and I are part of that generation past that remembers how Christmas 'used to be'.

"Now, don't get your dander up", as my Mama used to say. I don't mean to offend you, but, I remember when Christmas meant love and taught the true meaning of giving and receiving.

Above all else, I remember when Christmas had a meaning before it turned to material things, before stores preyed on the gullibility of adults and the demands of children. I'm talking of a time back when lists for Santa were a few lines, mostly wanting for someone else, while maybe, at the same time, yearning for us, too.

I remember watching my Grandma sit for hours crocheting different pieces in different designs. There were a lot of pieces that made no sense when we looked at them, because they would not fit our heads, or our necks, or anything else of vital importance - but, the magic came after everyone went to bed.

On Christmas Eve, Santa's elves would stop at the house and take all the pieces and put them together to make presents for us. We would each get a scarf, a pair of gloves and a hat. Sometimes, we even got slippers. All of these were made by the elves. Grandma said she helped them by making the pieces ahead of time so they could get finished quickly and move on to another house. All these presents were special to us because the elves came in just to make these presents for us. But, Grandma swore us to secrecy so other boys and girls wouldn't be jealous.

The day before Christmas, Dad would take us to the woods and we could pick out the tree we wanted. It had to be a unanimous decision, so sometimes it took hours to find the right tree. It had to be 'tall but not too tall, short but not too short, round but not too round, full but not too full'. Those were Dad's rules.

We all ran in different directions to be the first to find the perfect tree. When we all agreed it was the right one, Dad would use his ax to chop it down. All of us would count to see how many strokes it took Dad to fell our tree.

When we got the tree back to the house, Dad would put it in a bucket. All of us kids got to put the sand in to hold it up. Mom never got mad because there seemed to be more sand on the floor than in the bucket.

Mom would pop popcorn in the fireplace and everyone would thread the popcorn on a string to wrap around the tree. We ate 10 kernels to threading one. Grandma had some ornaments she made by starching crocheted pieces. We would each hang one in our own special place on the tree. Mom had a couple sets of lights she would help us add; then, Dad put the star on the top. He made it from some old metal he had in the barn.

Grandpa always added some cowbells he had and it was done. All of us had helped from getting the tree to the final touches. Before bed, as the winter winds blew outside, Grandma would read the Christmas story as we sat around the fireplace. The rest was up to Santa.

We could always depend on Santa to give us our very own favorite jelly. Through the year we had to share with our brothers and sisters, but, at Christmas, Santa always remembered our favorite flavor and he gave us our own jar that we did not have to share.

Santa also gave each of us a new toothbrush, usually in our favorite color. Also, he would get us each a different type of toothpaste so we would have our own. Sometimes, he got us our own jar of peanut butter to go with the jelly.

I remember one year he gave Mom five loaves of bread under the tree. Mom said Santa really cared about her because she did not have to make bread over the holiday.

We lived on a farm so we had a supply of meat in the freezer. After butchering in the fall, Dad would smoke hams in the smoke house. We always had ham for Christmas dinner. Grandma would make her homemade noodles and famous apple pie. Mom added potatoes and corn that we grew ourselves. Before we ate, we always gave thanks for everything.

The morning after Christmas, Dad would ready the sleigh with blankets. It was tradition for us to take dinners to some of the older neighbors who had no children. Mom and Dad kinda lent them us. Maybe to realize how lucky they were to not have kids, but I hoped it was to fill their lives with laughter for a little while.

Rosie and Dobin would be hitched to the sleigh, then off we would go for some good Christmas visits. I remember snuggling down in the blankets as Grandma held me tight to keep me warm.

Should I compare it to the Christmas of today? I really want to because it is nothing like the joy of my Christmas. All the stores vie to get rich at this time of year.

My friend told me that he and his wife can never afford to buy food close to Christmas, because his wife said they have to buy each child and grandchild at least a hundred dollars worth of presents each because the kids come to the house just to get presents. That is tradition? So what happens after Christmas?

"Wouldn't your kids understand that you would be short on money?" I asked him one day. He just looked at me. Question answered.

And what about the story of Christmas to those who believe? Does anyone know the meaning of giving? What about the homeless, the aged in the nursing homes, the soldiers overseas, the neighbor who has no one? What about the children who get only a slap because they are in the way? What about the suicides because of the after-holiday depression? Where has Christmas gone?

Words 1129

Author Notes Wm Coste thank you for permission to use your picture.


Chapter 6
Double Promise Not Kept

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I had twin sons that fought a lot,
through jealousy they cried.
I told them they would be my sons
until the day I died.

That always seemed to help them feel
to me they both belonged.
And for a little while at least,
they'd try to get along.

This seemed to go on every day,
they needed love from me.
They had to feel secure in life
to be all they could be.

I told them they were both my sons,
my love would never die,
and they would pass it on in turn
to their kids by and by.

I felt that they would always be,
they had so much to give.
I'd show them all the love I could
as long as I would live.

I made that promise to my sons
the day that they were born;
but, it was one I failed to keep.
Instead, their death I'd mourn.

I never thought that I would have
to bury my own kids.
With heavy heart and empty arms
that is just what I did.

I kept the promise of my love
to give them while I lived;
but that was stopped with memories,
yet, I had more to give.

I tell you now, love all you can,
tomorrow's never set.
Today's the day that tells it all,
it's not the day to fret.

Author Notes Author's picture of twin sons and daughter.

Today is the most important day of your life, yesterday is forgotten, tomorrow is never set.


Chapter 7
BFF Now and Always

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Ted and Max were bestest friends
they said they would be to the end.
They sealed their oath and pinky swore
they'd stick like glue forever more.

Detention's seats were easy bought,
when one went wrong, they both were caught.
Wherever Ted was found to be,
then Max was there, friendship their key.

They always had each other's back,
they held their ground, they would not slack.
Their friendship grew, so did their trust,
respect they gave, they felt they must.

They watched each other grow to men,
remembered where they both had been,
they swore if needed, they'd be there,
they'd even brave the devil's lair.

They fought together side by side
in battle showing county's pride.
When one defied the bullet's path,
the other praised the victor's wrath.

One day, their friendship held its ground,
they heard the shells fall all around.
They stayed their spot while others ran,
they gave their lives for fellow man.

They died together where they fell,
defied the odds - they fought so well.
They gave their lives to save their friends,
they kept their oath until the end.

They died the way they swore to live,
through thick and thin in all they'd give.
They were true friends deep in their core,
they had to be ... they pinky swore.

Author Notes VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.


Chapter 8
Friends on Site

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Some friends come and go at their leisure
others stick around for awhile
those that stay for the hard times
are the ones worth loving
and telling them so
they encouraged
never left
fought for
us

Author Notes MKFlood thank you for permission to use your picture.


Chapter 9
I'm Sorry, Mom

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Dear Mom,

Not a day goes by
that I don't ask for
your forgiveness
for all the lies I ever told you.

Not a night goes by
that I don't remember
all the times
I never returned your calls.

I was always too busy
to come and spend
a few minutes with you
when you felt alone.

I wish now I had listened
to all your years
of advice and
experience.

Please forgive me
for all the times
I did not take you places
just to get you out.

I am so sorry for
all the times
I overlooked your pain
and complaints.

Forgive me for all the times
I shrugged off your attempts
to teach me what was
important.

Too many times
I overlooked your tears
disappointments
hurts.

Now
it is too late
to say I am sorry
and I love you.

I want you to know
how proud of you I am
and I was honored
to be your daughter.

I am now experiencing
with my children
what I have put
you through ...

and
I now understand.

I'm sorry.

Love,
Your Daughter

Author Notes SteveANH thank you for permission to use your picture.


Chapter 10
Learn to Play

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Your life is so short, it is gone in a beat.
You waste what is given just planning defeat.
Please love what you have, and be thankful each day,
but never lose sight of what got you that way.

All things they can change in a heartbeat or two
so just look ahead in whatever you do.
You own the whole world, but you get what you give;
so, love everyone. it will teach you to live.

Then listen to God and just laugh every day.
Since life is too short, you must learn how to play.
A smile is the one thing that you must pass on
'cause when you stop smiling, your 'happy' is gone.

Author Notes bd shutterspeed thank you for permission to use your picture.


Chapter 11
Memories Never Blur

By Barb Hensongispsaca

She walks in stillness, time gone past,
in love's existence, gone too fast.
Her voice could teach the angels song.
She laughed with joy both loud and long.

Her hum was like a kitten's purr,
she sounded like a breeze's stir.
She moved while floating on the air.
Her thoughts would burrow with her stare.

A gentle breeze brought thoughts of her-
memories brought that never blur.
A radiant smile that stirs the air,
a friendly face 'neath auburn hair.

Her love would every boundary cross,
the day she died, all felt a loss.
Though there were tears, she still took parts
of all our broken, bleeding hearts.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

A dedication to my daughters-in-law.


Chapter 12
Hidden In Plain Sight

By Barb Hensongispsaca

hidden in plain sight
beauty shows in dark and light
nature has such might

Author Notes David Ruhl thank you for permission to use your picture.


Chapter 13
A Broken Heart

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Even though
her death certificate
said cancer, I know she died with
a broken heart.

Not of a broken heart,
because she had so much
love to give, but with
a broken heart

When she was old enough
to understand, she broke
two pieces from her heart
for her parents.

Another two pieces separated
when her brother and
sister came into the world
to join her.

Friends and family
each one in turn
was given their section
of her heart.

More given away when
the man of her dreams
came into her life
to share it.

Again more broken off
to be given to children
and grandchildren as they
presented themselves.

After giving all parts
of her heart to the ones
she loved, it was time
to go home.

She graciously took
the hand of God,
and passed into His arms
with a broken heart.

Author Notes karen zima thank you for permission to use your picture.


Chapter 14
Love's Last Hold

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I held your hand-
in our minds
we danced our last waltz-
I let go.

Author Notes cakemp55 thank you for permission to use your picture.


Chapter 15
When I Needed It

By Barb Hensongispsaca

It was given to me
as a last minute gift.
It went in my drawer
to be saved and filed.

It stayed there for years
forgotten and alone.
It waited for the time
that I needed it most.

One day a call came
as I slumbered along.
That day I woke
to a shattered world.

My family gone
my babies dead.
I tore at my heart
wanting to forget.

That day my feelings
turned upside down.
That day my heart broke
throwing God out the door.

Then the day came
I looked in the drawer.
That day that came
brought tears of relief.

I fell to my knees
I asked His forgiveness
I begged for peace
and He answered.

In that drawer I found
the multicolored note
in two hand written scrawls
saying,"Mommy, we love you."

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.


Chapter 16
I Remember When LIfe Was...

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I do still remember when life was so good,
when children lived fair, not belonged to a hood.
Remember the farm where I learned about life.
I worked day and night without all of the strife.

It was always hard when I woke in the morn,
I'd put out the day's feed of silage and corn,
For chickens, I scattered their grain on the ground,
then gathered the eggs from the nests that I found.

The sheep would come running when they would see me;
the lambs started jumping, just glad to be free.
The horses went out then to graze off the land,
I'd watch the new foals as they learned how to stand.

The cows knew their roles as they waited in line -
the milking machine ran as they stood to dine.
The pigs were impatient while waiting for slop ...
I poured in their trough with a resounding 'plop'.

All animals ate before I got to eat,
it took me two hours and that was quite a feat.
Then sat down to breakfast of bacon and eggs,
the cat sat there quiet while the dog drooled and begged.

I think of the fun that we had Sunday nights.
Both Grandma and Grandpa had fun - what a sight.
The old phonograph would be wound up to play,
we danced all together to wind up the day.

I do miss the life that I lived on the farm.
We worked really hard and made sure 'twas no harm.
Now all this was done before cock crowed at morn,
to kids of today this work would be foreign.

Author Notes doggymad this one is for you as requested. I hope it is what you expected.

catmal thank you for permission to use your picture.


Chapter 17
Remembering Family Times

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Rowdy I was - growing up as a kid.
Mom kept me straight with her love, yes she did.

Fam'ly was huge but we all did our part.
working together when each day would start.

Grandma and Grandpa, they lived with us, too.
Faith is what held us together like glue.

Satan was never allowed to destroy
eight that they raised, seven girls and a boy.

Caring we shared taught us all how to laugh,
magic emerged when the old phonograph

brought us together for Sunday night fun...
dancing around, seven daughters and son.

Grandma and Grandpa would first lead the way
all would join in on that wonderful day.

Author Notes catmal thank you for permission to use your picture.

This was a challenge on rhyming and I appreciate any suggestions.


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