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Thursday, May 01, 2014


by Patricia Smith Ranzoni

Image source: Storybook Woods

                                            on having to decline the honor

I will make them all the Maybaskets I know how.
Small tissue-and-crepe-paper-covered grocery boxes saved all winter.
Folded and cut lantern and umbrella ones. Frilly cones with
accordion handles and kite-like tails. Pastel petaled and grass fringed ones.
I will fill them with maple bits, chocolate and divinity fudge, nuts, and molasses corn.
I will tuck pussywillows into their hearts, our rite.
I will tiptoe up behind each in turn, nestle a sweet cup into his hands or lap or at her feet,
    tap them like the doors they are and run, my skirt ruffling in old country mischief.
They will laugh, seeing, and chase me.
They will catch me one by one and give me a kiss.
I will say I remember you, thank them, and say so long again
    and not be lonely another year.

And when they remember, may this comfort them when they read out and cry.

Health troubles keep Patricia Smith Ranzoni from public participation so she relies on joining her voice this way. Her unschooled work documenting the Canadian-American, mixed-blood Yankee cultures of her people has been published across the country and abroad, including past issues of The New Verse News and most recently in Parallel Uni-Verse, Tuesday Anthology of the Oregon Coast, and Bedding Vows, Love Poems from Outback Maine (North Country Press), her 9th collection. She participates electronically with the Blue Hill Peninsula Peace & Justice group.