The Ancient Willow

Rachel Svendsen

A while back, I wrote up a post entitled What Good is a Roll Without Butter? about my dear brother-in-law Jonathan and how we composed a poem over the course of two days via text message.

Another while back, my husband, brother-in-law, and I were out on a jaunt in the little ol’ white Honda, and composed the following moving sonnet. We alternated lines as we rolled down the highway.

My lines – will be in regular type
Timothy’s lines – will be in bold type
Jonathan’s lines – will be in blue italics

The willow tree lies barren in the glen.
Its leaves have fallen down to grow nomore.
Its mournful beauty still forgot by men,
Who wander aimlessly toward beck’ning shore.
What memories it holds and tales could tell,
Of evil and courageous deeds of yore,
Of yonder church when peals its wedding bell,
And cries of men who…

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Memory Field

DoubleU = W

at first glance this appears a maze

of granite, marble, grass

row on row of standing stone

etched with dates, names

flowers, crucifixes, clouds


under each, lies a life, a



the field brings the names

back, fresh to the mind

but does it do justice to

who they were or what

their time meant, the

events they witnessed, the

company they kept, the

memories they made, the

memories they brought here

with them to this field


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The Joy (and Jokes) of Retirement


The only reason for my retirement was because of health reasons – I was sick of my company and my company was sick of me. I knew if I was the last one to laugh at my boss’s joke, then I would not be too far from retirement. The best time to start thinking my retirement was before the boss does.

Working people have a lot of bad habits, but the worst of these is work. I told myself there’s one thing I always wanted to do before I quit – retire!

So one day, I returned  from work day and said to my wife, “Hi, Honey, I”m home – forever.”  From that moment on, I knew I switched bosses – from the one who hired me to the one who married me.  It turned out that my wife was happy because she knew that when a man retires, his wife gets twice the husband although receiving only half the…

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