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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Empty Nester/Retirement (from work) (09/10/09)

TITLE: My Childish Pity-Fest
By Rachel Burkum


Well, she's got all her grandkids,
Activities galore.
She's got time to bake her pies,
That everyone adores.
She's the one who drives on by,
Her nose stuck in the air.
She can turn an old gent's head,
I know it isn't fair.

Me, I'm just a working wife,
With calluses to prove,
My hands need lotion every night,
To soften and to soothe.
My bones they ache and moan and groan,
But I still work, you see.
We need the money every month,
To pay our rental fee.

She's got hours to spend in bed,
Beauty sleep, says she.
She wakes if her dear daughter calls,
At eight or nine fifteen.
It doesn't matter what she says,
They all will lend an ear,
To gossip going 'round and 'round,
That everyone should hear.

Me, I'm just a toiling mom,
Too busy for that fluff.
I sweep and sew and cook the meals,
Without that other stuff.
She retired before her time,
Dear Henry, rest his soul,
Left her quite a fortune there,
So she would ne'er be cold.

I glare across the cobble path,
To her front porch and muse,
She's got that big house of hers,
To roam, enjoy and use.
Me, I have a little home,
With hardly space to spare,
For when my kids come home at night,
And we all have to share.

What would life for me be like,
If I could sit and bask,
In the sunshine morn' to night,
Of God, I think I'll ask.
Why can't I have riches, too,
My children grown and gone?
Why can't I be finished here,
And have peace to rest upon?

Jealousy creeps in my heart,
Some naughty thoughts invade.
I finally tiptoe 'cross the lane,
And hide beneath the shade.
Creeping closer 'neath the sill,
I stop and press and ear,
To listen and to find out if,
She’s really that sincere.

To my chagrin and my dismay,
It's not her steps I hear.
It's not her flitting all about,
Enjoying no career.
Instead I hear the sobbing cries.
To God, she's calling out.
She's begging for more purpose here,
She thinks she’s been left out.

Her heart pours out the heavy tears,
That she's been holding in.
She's asking God to grant her wish,
To fill the void within.
No job has dealt out emptiness,
Instead of joyous glee.
The lack of children in the house,
Left scars, quite painfully.

And as I sink down to the ground,
My heart leaps in my chest,
Foolish me, oh, God, forgive,
My childish pity-fest.
He gave me all these things to do,
These jobs to keep my hands,
Busy working dawn 'til dusk,
So I could fill His plans.

My children all bring happiness,
To my aching heart.
How could I want them to be,
Gone, and us apart?
And as I ponder all these things,
I realize it's true.
She's been wanting all along,
Things I've complained to you.

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This article has been read 1105 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Allen Stark09/17/09
I believe you've captured beautifully in poetry what Francis Frangipane has said. "Why waste energy criticizing what's wrong when our prayers can change it!" As usual, nice job.
Beth LaBuff 09/17/09
Your writing here is very moving and so excellently told. Wonderful work!
Charla Diehl 09/18/09
Ah yes--things aren't always what they seem. Enjoyed the comparisons between the two women and your MC's enlightenment at the end. Lots of poetry this week, and yours is worthy of a second read. Great job.
Cherie B.09/22/09
I enjoyed your poetry and your lesson.
Pamela Calhoun09/22/09
Very nice! A good reminder to Praise the Lord in ALL things. We never know what's really going on with others and comparing is a big waste of time.
Shilo Goodson09/23/09
It's so true that often we think that those who don't have real responsibilies are just enjoying life when in reality those responsibilities give us a real purpose in life. You have a great representation of this idea in your poem.
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/23/09
Excellent poetry. Your last two lines sum up the message well.
Joy Faire Stewart09/23/09
Wonderful poem with a great message. Excellent!
Catrina Bradley 09/23/09
The last line so perfectly ends this poem. And I want to tack these lines on my wall as a reminder:

"He gave me all these things to do,
These jobs to keep my hands,
Busy working dawn 'til dusk,
So I could fill His plans."

Your message is relevant to all ages. I lost the rhythm a few times, but enjoyed your poem very much. Nice job.
Deborah Engle 09/24/09
Congratulations on placing with this story/poem. It told an important story, and was fun to read.
Carol Slider 09/24/09
So much truth here... how many times do the people we envy also envy US? Well done--congratulations!
Eileen Knowles09/24/09
I thoroughly enjoyed this! Beautiful :)
Beth LaBuff 09/24/09
I'm thinking the pity-fest is now over. :) Congrats on your EC!