Hallmark Moment, a poem by Michael Ball at Spillwords.com
Annie Spratt

Hallmark Moment

Hallmark Moment

written by: Michael Ball



What had my grandmother lost?
First, three children…not stillborn
nor abandoned at the bus depot,
nor disowned after a shouting match.

Her children were not pushed from the nest.
Rather they fledged to jobs and marriage
and lives in distant deserts and hills.
Doing what their parents had shown them.

Now aged out of romance, her heart
was well clouded every day and night.
She outwalked all flirtations, the sport
that so defined her young, single self.

She was a real looker in the Great War,
gushing and blushing over vague plans.
She joined first and often with the handsome
lad she would marry, in passions of the pretty.

Three children beyond plans and fantasies,
she spread the day’s mail on the rubbed maple
that was her desk as well as dining table.
One large pastel envelope had no postage.

She was long past quotidian romances
but her husband of many decades was not.
He’d slipped her a saccharine mother’s-day
card, with embossed flowers and doggerel.

Without a tear or even a smile, she read
the sappy rhymes, then hastily shoved
the card into its sheath, ripping the flowers.
She set it aside, saying only, “The old fool.”

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