In A Town Near Here
by Beverly Jeanne Raffaele
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In A Town Near Here
Susie sat real close
like they did in hi-school,
he proposed wearing a big toothy grin.
It was down by the river where she said yes
then laughing, she pushed him in.
Saturday night he took her dancing,
they rode in his old ford truck.
The one that drug those tin cans,
through the puddle
where they got stuck.
He still pushes the curls back
that frames her face
when he gazes into
her yearning brown eyes.
She feels his warmth
and steady breathing
Snuggled contently, by his side.
He shops at a place called
"Boots, Hats, and Jeans,"
and dines in a place called home.
Biscuits and gravy is the cuisine,
with hashbrowns, eggs and ham.
Susie's hips are a little wider now
from the baby boy that they lost,
he still can't get over her strength,
It was him that she comforted,
her pregnancy, a terrible cost.
Sunday she cooks for company,
chicken, potatoes, and corn.
Dad and Mom will be by
and so will his brother,
with his fat little wife
and their wily twins, now four.
Monday he goes back to work fitting pipes,
Tuesday is about the same.
Wednesday he sat down to watch the news
and some kids were killed by a train.
The whole town was there for the funeral,
One boy was the son of his boss.
The kid had been drinking,
and they stalled on the tracks,
big Jim wept at the loss.
She baked a cake and made a hot dish
for the potluck held at the Inn.
Those four caskets had changed her life
with the grieving mothers as friends.
Now she worked to help each one,
with the little things they may need.
Like milk and bread and the laundry done
and there are the pets to feed.
She took from her grief and gave,
that is what her mother had done.
"Child," she said, "there is pain in this life
but you can always touch just one
Especially when there is such a loss,
chaos injustice and strife."
"But there is so much that we should do
to lend comfort to those who we can.
You see, we were put on this earth
to live within God's compassionate plan."
"He has a plan for us all
and even though trusting is hard
And sometimes we wonder why
our minds are worn and charred."
"But if we stay vigilant,
and have a little faith
He will help it grow
through his love and grace.
"Please just live your life fully
love your husband and town
and a time will come, I promise you,
that life will settle down."
She never forgot those words
and the day her mother died,
she repeated them back in her ear,
then her mother gazed in her eyes.
And when her mother closed them
with a smile on her dry lips,
Susie knew her Mom
would see her reward
For the example she gave
of the life that she lived.
Big Jim let her dad stay with them,
And life went on contently
He made foreman at work
And Susie gave birth
They gave him the name
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