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Poems give poignant lessons about savoring life's events

Published: September 3, 2007
Gifts come from unexpected places. Last week, one arrived in my mailbox.

Not "the inbox,” but the mailbox by the curb.

It was a gift of poetry from Marti McClure — a lady I have never met. After reading one of my columns, she sent a quote by Anne Lamott she thought I'd like. I liked it so much, I included it in my book.

When I asked her to share some of her poetry with me, she graciously sent me a few — the gift I found in my mailbox. I have sat and held the pages in my hands and read and re-read, and I want to share some of her words that wrapped themselves around me.

One poem was about grief. She referred to death as "a remarkable teacher. It broke the cocoon spun around me, almost broke me when I crawled out, crying, feeling a new kind of nakedness.” Yes … I know that feeling.

And in the same poem, "You would be proud of me today. I am out of the fetal position, walking upright, laughing again.” It made me remember the day I realized that was going to be possible.

Here are word pictures from some of her other poems:

Memories are pictures the heart takes, stored forever, and ready for instant replay on the screens of our minds.

There are times when sadness comes and dresses me without permission.

Make notes of me before I pass. Write me down on small pieces of you.

And a poem that jolted me — a poem titled "Ballgames”:

Could we do better if we knew the number of our allotted hours?

If we had a scoreboard telling us the innings played, strikeouts, home runs.

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