Only a Witch

Halloween Vintage 05
Image via Wikipedia

She sat
primly on a bar stool,

Alone and waiting
for someone,

That was my
best guess,

Because she
ignored everyone,


she would sigh,

And someone
would buy her a drink,

She would offer
an angelic smile,

Giving the donor a reason to think,


One by one
she rebuffed their efforts,

As each man offered her his best pitch,

Mentally she
was called some names,

But none had
nerve to call her “b—-”,


The men
became bolder as they drank,

While I sat silently
sipping a cold brew,

flew at her, coarse and rank,

While the
night grew darker and a cold wind blew,


As a rule
when the drinks flow free,

Most women
get prettier as the night wears down,

But when she
was accosted by two on a spree,

Her face
wrinkled up into a giant frown,


Sparks flew
from her once beautiful eyes,

And the
roundness that filled her coal black dress,

forgotten for she was no longer a prize,

apologies they quickly tried to express,


She glared
at them as time stood still,

Then picked
up her hat and wished them well,

Her voice
changed and became high and shrill,

While all
stood frozen and under her spell,


Out the door
she walked and onto the street,

She didn’t call
a taxi, on a broom she flew,

Her voice
was raspy and definitely not discreet,

“When Halloween
is over, I’m coming back for you,”


I’m not sure
if that was clearly meant for me,

But when night
gets darker and a cold wind blows,

The men from
that tavern wait eagerly,

And I sit
patiently dreaming, for who knows?


Her words might
be for me and they might be true,

She was
beautiful so I’ve been practicing my pitch,

Yet I’m
careful to stay sober as I sip just one cold brew,

Because I’m
hoping she turns out to be only a witch.



Hockey and Halloween

Pumpkinhead 4326
Image by PKMousie via Flickr


(a Halloween tale)


Halloween night all creatures were astir,

Ready for
anything gross that might occur,

curdling screams and fights were about,

In the midst
of the mayhem a hockey game broke out,

From out of
the sky Count Dracula swooped down,

His voice
boomed out and was heard all around,

“I’ll issue
a challenge to any blood thirsty team,

You’re clumsy,
ugly and only good in your dreams,”

The ghouls,
zombies, and the walking dead,

Laced up
their blades and warmed up with Fred,

The Count
secretly had made a great plan,

gathered the quickest in all the land,

Wolves were
howling to get into the game,

Vampires and
goblins wanted the same,

The Count handpicked his team with cunning and care,

Freddie was
more casual but he continued to stare,

“Count, I
think you’ve got tricks up your sleeve,

Yet we’ll
give you a battle, I do believe,”

“Ah, Mr.
Krueger, there’s more than you think,

will be the referee on this rink,”

With evil
grin the referee took his place,

“Are you
ready now to go face to face?

No sticking,
no slashing, the rules are clear,

If you don’t
play by the rules, you’re outta here!”

Jason, the
goalie, said, “Count, your entrance was slick,

Are you good
enough on ice to pull a hat trick?”

Fights were
frequent and often quite gory,

But there’s
much more to this bedtime story,

Hockey fans
gathered from all over the land,

Until there
was no place to sit or stand,

curdling screams continued to abound,

For hockey
fans are the most rabid around,

Tear off
his head,”  “The referee stinks,”

“Have any of
you ever been on a rink?”

The penalty
boxes were filled with players galore,

But the fans
kept shouting, “Blood! I want more!”

The game
continues from one year to the next,

If you see a
game starting, send me a text,

For I’ve
heard many screams and seen fights all about,

And I’m
willing to miss mayhem if a hockey game breaks out.

Let the Feasts and Parties Begin!

Grammostola Grossa
Image via Wikipedia

Hundreds of
tarantulas had escaped,

Before the
scientist had ventured along,

Was it
possible to recapture them,

Return them to
where they belonged,


scientist was engrossed in checking,

The entry on
the daily journal’s last page,

Unaware of bird-eating

That had
slipped from their cage,


They watched
anxiously with interest,

As they
prepared to fight or flee,

All they
needed was a quiet signal,

From a
leader such as me,


Slowly and
deliberately they circled him,

Preparing to
make their charge,

scientist would be a challenge,

Because he
was obese and large,


Their attack
would be swift and deadly,

injected from their fangs,

the victim completely,

Leaving webs
for him to hang,


Warned not
to experiment,

went ahead just the same,

Radioactive Spiders
on Growth Hormones,

Became the
secret project’s name,


scientists were determined,

I warned
them, yes, I did indeed,

But the
project was richly funded,

And my
warnings they would not heed,


Now the
tarantulas have been set free,

I guess I‘m
the one to blame,

I had been
injected with the formula,

One of the
spiders I partly became,


They expect
me to be their leader,

Because both
worlds I know,

I blend well
with human beings,

But the
world of spiders I also know,


eggs will be underground,

Guarded for
eight or nine weeks,

From each
nest a thousand tarantulas will hatch,

Hungry, and
wanting victims to seek,


Eight legs
will be faster than two,

Especially with
hundreds or more,

Digestive enzymes
to liquefy a body,

Then sucked
up until there’s nothing but gore,


Beware the
tarantulas in deep of night,

nocturnal predators on the prowl,

Even the
monsters will be tense that night,

And wolves
will forget to howl,


One isolated
adult or lost child,

Will be
reason for a little snack,

Little kids will be the perfect miniature

While adults
will feed an entire pack,


Stock up on
candies and sweet things,

Eat well and
prepare for that night,

We’ll be
there, scurrying everywhere,

Waiting just
outside the light,


I’ll spin a web
to draw you in,

radioactive formula worked on me,

And for one
night you’ll be my queen,

Before I set
you free,


“Trick or
treat!” I’ll shout,

As you stare
at a hideous grin,

You’ll be the
first as I slack my thirst,

“Let the
parties and feasts begin!”






Shrieks, Laughter, and Noisy Gulps

Mice with different coat colors.
Image via Wikipedia

It wasn’t
the usual sound of mice running up and down inside the walls.  It wasn’t the sound of bats as they pushed
for favorite positions.  Something else
was stirring things up again tonight.  Jeremy
didn’t care what it was.  He needed his
sleep.   This was the third night that he had been
roused from his sleep by shrieks, by laughter, and by noisy gulps.  Each night at midnight something, either a
mouse or a bat, tried to scramble away.  Its
tiny feet scrabbled against the wall in desperation, but always the resolution
was the same.  Eventually it was devoured
slowly by something, and the something enjoyed it very much.

thought he could hear faint laughter after each kill. He didn’t mind having the
rodent or bat population reduced, but night was his time to rest and gather
strength.  Enough was enough!  Tomorrow he would not wait idly by and listen
as something attacked. He would enact his plan.
Jeremy had thought long and hard.
Sleep deprivation had driven him to the sheer boldness of it.  He would not run or question.  This was a matter of having sheer nerve.

Jeremy was
so tired he called in sick for work.  Since
he still couldn’t sleep he took the time to draw a Cartesian plane stretching
from ceiling to floor, wall to wall.
Strategic points were labeled and marked.  To the left of zero were the negative numbers
and to the right, the positive numbers.
Numbers above zero on the y axis, being positive represented things that
flew.  Numbers below zero would represent
things that crawled or walked.  He toiled
through the day, painting his wall with all kinds of imaginary creatures.  Then he waited for the sounds to begin.

As he lay on the bed he checked the weapons he
had gathered:  One large hunting knife
with serrated blade, a pistol he had found after a rival shootout, and a pick
he had discovered near an unfinished burial plot.  Maybe they weren’t capable of taking care of
something, but they were better than nothing.
He had also taken some precautions.
In the local church Jeremy had filled a small bottle with holy
water.  He had sprinkled some on his weapons,
some on himself, and saved some to baptize a demon or an angel.

The night
seemed longer than usual and Jeremy found himself fighting sleep.  Then the faint sounds began.  First quadrant!  He gripped the knife.  Second quadrant!  The sounds were moving…or were they coming
from both at the same time?  He listened
intently.  Fourth quadrant, then the third.  All four quadrants were vibrating and full of

The mice
were silent and the bats were still, yet two large objects were in the wall, moving
away and back again.  Jeremy lunged with
the knife and stabbed the thin wall. The serrated blade slid easily through and
plunged into something thicker.  A gasp
and a tiny cry, and then blood spurted high.
The knife shook and disappeared into the wall.  He held the pistol and aimed.  One shot and a hit.  Something collapsed and slid downward to the right.  Jeremy chuckled.  “A negative linear equation forms a line
slanting down to the right.  My algebra
teacher would be so proud of me.  My plan
worked.  I think I got a demon or two.”

All was silent
for a long time until the faint sounds of mice running inside the wall caught
his attention.  He fell asleep
again.  He could sleep with mice racing
inside the walls or even across the bed.
Bats stirred and fluttered their wings. Their minute noises were
annoying but would not keep him awake.
Something larger moved about.  “I
can sleep peacefully with angels guarding me,” he said aloud.

A snicker, a chortle, and a deep belly laugh
followed.  “Then why did you stab and
shoot the two guardian angels?” a gruff voice asked.  Jeremy’s eyes popped open just in time to see
a demon tearing at the sides of the hole made by the knife.  He grabbed for the pick.  His fingers found nothing.

“Are you
looking for this?” a voice asked behind him.
“It should be stuck in zero.  You
do know your luck is now zero, don’t you?”

Jeremy’s hand
found the small bottle.  In a wide circle
he swung the holy water and drops splashed about the room but not in time to
save Jeremy.  Even though his fate was
sealed his bottle of water was already cleaning everything evil from the room.

A neighbor called the police and when they
arrived the scene had already changed.

Two detectives
roped off the scene and began their investigation.  The younger detective shook his head. “I
think it’s a clear sign of someone going berserk.  Why he would stab and shoot the wall is

His partner frowned and said, “Living in this
dump is enough to drive anyone insane.
We’ve only been here a short while and already this place is bothering
me.  There are sounds in the wall and
when we first got here I thought blood was dripping from that hole over
there.  And what’s with this Cartesian
plane?  What does it signify?  There are two lines slanting down to the
right and when we first arrived there was only one.  Don’t tell the captain but I think there’s
more to this story.  Was this a suicide
or murder?  I’ll let the coroner decide
this one.”

Three blocks
away in a small house two newlyweds lay talking about their future.  “We’ve been married for six weeks.  We found this house and it’s perfect for us,”
she whispered.

“Yes,” he replied, “But remind me to call an
exterminator.  The last three nights I’ve
heard sounds in the wall.  A mouse or two
can be taken care of easily but I’ll see how much it costs.  I might get rid of the pests myself as soon
as I have time.  Sweet dreams, my
love.  I’ll lie awake all night making
sure you’re protected.”

Two demons
waited patiently on one side of the roof.  A short distance away two angels also
waited.  One of the angels said, “You
might have won the last battle, but we’re determined to win this one.  Just because it’s getting close to Halloween
doesn’t mean we going to let you take a few more souls.”

The demons
smiled and one of them said, “People help us this time of year.  Can’t you see all the mean tricks they’re
playing?  They’re trying to get even with
each other and having fun.  If we just
make a few noises and scare a few people they’ll go completely crazy.  Forget about love.  It doesn’t exist this time of year.”  He paused for a moment.  “Happy Halloween!”

Prayers and Doubts

Woodcut for "Die Bibel in Bildern", ...
Image via Wikipedia

I pray for
cold weather, you pray for hot,

I pray for
rain clouds, you pray they’re not,

Our prayers
are like arrows shot into the sky,

No one seems
to listen, we both wonder why,

Our prayers
can’t be answered if we cancel each other out,

If we pray
for the same cause there’ll be less reason to doubt,

You pray for
a friend’s healing, I pray guide the doctor’s hand,

What are we
really asking, do we both understand?

Is it
science we pray to because it seems so clear,

Or are we
more trusting with angels hovering near?

If God is with
us always, why am I filled with doubt?

If I don’t
see His hand in this, I’ve got to think it out,

A disease
strikes a neighbor, a madman is turned loose,

How did God
allow this to happen? I’ll pray, but what’s the use?

You say
you’ve seen God but you don’t remember where,

I’d like to
see Him too, can’t He show up here?

You say you
believe in miracles, can you name just one?

I’d like to
test it thoroughly, wouldn’t that be fun?

Darwin stated
we’re from the ocean, out of the water we arose,

We’ve been evolving since then, but where we’re going, who knows?

You can pray
for answers, while I still have my doubts,

Your answers
might come eventually while I think it all works out,

Science gives
us its theory about how we finally arrived here,

But I still
have many questions about what made life appear,

Patterns are
evident in the universe, everywhere I look,

And the
answers to my questions are not in a science book,

I believe a
power beyond my understanding created this earth,

about life just happening have no intellectual worth,

I have to
believe in creation, I have no other choice,

For woven in
this tapestry of life is His voice,

I can’t see
God, but I see where He’s been,

I can’t
touch God, but I feel His presence again and again,

everything lines up against me, where else can I turn?

When I’m at
the bottom of the pit and by the world I’m spurned,

Who is the
King of Glory, and where does he reside?

I can’t
point Him out, but I know He’s inside,

Has He
forsaken me or are there too many on His list?

Is He off
doing something important and He’s forgotten I exist?

Are the
hairs on my head counted, do I mean anything at all?

Have I been
too long out of compliance, is my faith way too small?

When I pray
heavenly Father, am I not heard because of doubts?

Why don’t I
get answers when my whole world is crashing about?

If I’m one
of His children, a joint heir of the King,

Am I
surrounded by angels, will I ever hear them sing?

Am I
protected from demons and from the prince of this world,

Or will I be
tortured forever by the poisonous barbs he’s hurled?

What about
miracles, or is that an entirely different tune,

Are miracles
stories in the past and I’ll never see one soon,

My doubts
spring up continually, sometimes out of control,

My prayers
seem unheeded, despite pleadings from my soul,

I could give
up my belief that God still rules supreme,

And join the
world in saying that God is but a dream,

But in spite
of doubts and fears within, I cling to my hope,

That life
continues past this world beyond science’s microscope,

I believe all my trials and sins on earth will be covered with love,

While my
questions and fears will be answered in the realm above,

And the time
we spend discovering the pockets of faith inside,

Will come
back tenfold, and within that faith He’ll abide,

I’m forever
getting stronger as my faith answers my doubt,

I realize I
just have to believe, it’s not for me to work out.

When Cancer Strikes

Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus aka Caracalla
Image by Saad.Akhtar via Flickr

When Cancer Strikes    (Part one, Curly Hair)

It was both
a blessing and a curse,

Her chestnut
hair was often tangled or worse,

There were
times Laura hated her hair,

detanglers, moisturizers,

Sometimes made
her wish it wasn’t there,


It had been
that way as far back as memory could get,

when dry, hard to manage when wet,

curly hair was admired often, she’d confess,

But it was
often a distraction as a frizzy mess,

There weren’t
many options on how to fix her hair,

She worried when
the wind made it fly here and there,

Often Laura
looked out of control and people would rudely stare,


calm, peaceful, and beautiful was her goal,

Forgotten were
the comments about her beauty as a whole,

and her abilities made her special in all she did,

But under
hats, tied up in tight braids, her curly hair she hid,


Laura was a
businesswoman, ambitious in every way,

Determined to
be a success before she turned old and gray,

Laura was
also wife and mother with two children on her mind,

Time for
them or even for herself, was very hard to find,


Her husband
sent her flowers every month to let her know,

That he would be waiting for her if she decided to take life slow,

Her life was filled from dawn till night, with one job to the next,

Rarely did
she spend quality time with Joe, and both were too tired for sex,

were quick and far away, with pictures to prove she was there,

But wherever
she went and whatever she did, she covered up her hair,


from a young M.D. on her routine annual exam,

Made her mad
when he said, “We need further tests for you, Ma’am,”

She went
through the tests mainly to prove him wrong,

Much to her
chagrin blood was drawn, it didn’t take them long,

Laura balked
at first when new appointments were made,

But soon she
was on her way and memories of the visit began to fade,


Later that week several phone calls at work interrupted
her day,

“We want you
to come in, not tomorrow, perhaps yesterday,”

“What’s so important?”
she wondered as she brushed tangles from her hair,

“I’ve always
been so healthy, so why should I care?”

That night
Laura brushed her hair ninety-nine times or more,

With each
tug she commented, “Curly hair is such a chore,”


But Laura
was restless, the upcoming visit was eating at her,

And at her
next appointment she decided she would concur,

“You have
cancer,” he said quietly, “we should treat it aggressively,”

“I don’t
have time for cancer!” she shouted, “or even time for me,”

“We need to
treat it with chemotherapy,” he stated, “as soon as we can,”

“If we want
to win this war, we have to make a plan,”

“Doctor, I’m
too busy for this, I’ll do chemo in the spring,”

“Then they’ll
bury you deep while you sleep, the chemo won’t mean a thing,”


The nurse
read a list of changes that Laura might expect,

Foods to
eat, nausea, loss of hair, there was little time to reflect,

She could
deal with changes in her diet, so why did she care,

Yet on her
way home one thought returned, she would lose her hair,


What would
she do about work, would everyone lose respect?

And what
about her children and her Joe, what would he expect?

“This is not
fair,” she thought, “I’ve fought hard to get where I am,

Now I have
cancer and that puts me in a jam,”

She’d talk
to the doctors and see how this could be fixed,

Laura knew
how business worked, maybe this could be deep sixed,

When Cancer Strikes
(Part 2, Birds of
a Feather)

She was
afraid to hug her husband, likewise with the kids,

With this
draining more from her, their marriage would be on the skids,

Joe listened
to her intently and suggested a group for her to attend,

“I don’t
need a support group,” she countered, “I just want to mend,”

He left a
number of the group in case she wanted to call,

For two days
Laura wanted nothing to do with the group at all,


But the
third evening as she brushed and detangled her hair,

wondered what others did when strangers began to stare,

She called a
cell phone number knowing she had to make a choice,

She agreed
to go to a meeting when she heard a cheerful voice,

“Come on and
join us, we’ll have a special guest tonight,

You’ll find
we have lots of fun because no one gets uptight,”

Nervously she
brushed her hair as she waited for her ride,

In the car
it was explained she’d have to wait outside,


Waiting outside
a home made her feel this was not the place to be,

But she only
had time to see what they wanted her to see,

placed was a sign stating the group’s name,

“Birds of a
Feather” and in smaller print, “We’re all the same,”


Laura was
led in at the appointed time but saw one empty chair,

“It’s saved
for you,” a woman called out, “and your beautiful hair,”

How could
she explain that soon her head would soon be bare,

She was
afraid they might laugh and show they didn’t care,

Laura’s fear
was growing as she glanced about the room,

She was the
only one with cancer and ready to meet her doom,


single women, mothers, daughters, wives,

These women
were all beautiful and had normal lives,

“We have a newcomer tonight, so welcome Laura
with applause,”

The leader
continued, “And in case she’s worried, it’s time for us to pause,

We’ve faced
our fears before, and sometimes hid our shame,

But together
we are strong and our freedom we proclaim,”


One by one
each removed a wig to reveal her hair was gone,

“We’re all
in this together, no one is all alone,”

Their smiles
were wide and welcoming as the leader took her hand,

“When you
can, let Laura know that you really understand,”


When the
meeting was over Laura returned home,

She kissed
her children and showed them her comb,

explained her disease and told them about her hair,

They answered,
“We love you, mommy, we don’t care,”

Her husband,
Laura learned, was compassionate and kind,

He loved her
for her heart, her ambition, and her mind,

They decided
to fight cancer together and strive for the best,

And they’d
spend more time living and loving with zest,

The cancer
went into remission and Laura grew back her hair,

And whether tangled,
frizzy, or wind blown, now she combs with flair.
















Soul Mate Lost

A park bench.
Image via Wikipedia

He was
covered with newspapers,

And on the
park bench he lay,

I woke him
up so I could sit down,

It was the
middle of the day,


“Son,” he
said, “you might think I’m a bum,

Because I
live this way in life,

But my life changed

Last year when
I lost my wife,”


“Years we loved

I can still
see her beautiful face,

We shared
all we said or did,

As we carved
from life our place,”


“Now I have
grown weary

Of being

Stop and
listen to me,

Just a
minute if you would, “


“People see
me talking to trees,

The moon,
the storms, the sky,

Or find me
walking the seashore alone,

And stop and
ask me why,”


“Thoughts of
her still linger,

Though it’s
been quite some while,

The days
have grown so dreary,

I’ve almost
forgotten her smile,”


“You’d think
I’d forget the way we were,

But when I
see two strolling hand in hand,

She’s there
and I still remember her,

No one seems
to understand,”


“And sometimes
when I hear a song,

For no
reason at all I break down and cry,

So tell me
please, what’s wrong with me,

My friends
won’t tell me why,”


“There are
other times I’m sad,

Like when
clouds cover the moon,

When birds
sing in the sunshine,

Or warm
sunny days in June,”


“She’s been
gone for such a long time,

But my life doesn’t
seem quite right,

I don’t like
the sounds of day,

And I hate
the quiet of night,”


“So tell me,
if you kindly would,

She’s the
only soul mate I wanted to find,

I don’t want
this to be misunderstood,

Have I
finally lost my mind?”


I assured
him he was perfectly sane,

That love
can be a reason to cry,

sensitive heart was a beautiful thing,

Then I shook
his hand and said goodbye,


I’ve thought
about him since that day,

And the
things I could have said,

I didn’t
stop long enough to help him,

So I try to
help others instead.


Root Systems

A scenic photo taken near Madison, Wisconsin o...
Image via Wikipedia

Late at
night a storm blew through,

Shattering branches and even trees,

I listened
but there was nothing I could do,

For this was
not a common breeze,

Roaring and
howling as it stretched out wide,

The wind
faced me to make a direct hit,

Then it
threatened and heckled me as I hid inside,

A tremendous
crash, then all was quiet,

In the
silence a far off drum pounded,

But it was
only me, my heart answering a mighty tree,

It lay
uprooted, its heart exposed and sad to see,

stretched out east and west,

Torn from
the trunk in this latest test,

Much longer
than the branches above,

Now ripped
and torn much like my sordid life,

I’ve had root
systems of resentment and strife,

And one of
life’s major storms ripped me apart,

bitterness was no longer needed for support,

I could not
use the branches like a fort,

Hiding away
from the world,

Pouting because
there were things I could not get,

My gifts no longer
needed for growth,

I was wasting
away because I wanted my needs met,

My life was no
longer needed and I felt spurned,

My sarcasm
and expectations were ready to be burned,

The storms
of life had won,

My supports
had rotted and torn,

Yet from my
roots I was being reborn,

I realized
then I was more than a tree,

That life still
needed me,

if I became all I could be,

And released
the roots of bitterness,

And found
the keys to happiness,

I’ve heard healthy
roots in dry soil will not grow,

So my roots
will be where other lives flow,

From their
broken roots new life will begin,

than before, I’ll set the trend.





Don’t Ask

Rick Wakeman appearing at the Royal Albert Hal...
Image via Wikipedia

You ask me a

As you’re
just passing by,

But I don’t
want to answer you,

And you don’t bother asking why,

Your time is
limited, you’re going somewhere,

You asked
just to be polite,

The chance you
had to know more about me,

Was gone
when you walked out of sight,

Within me
there was an answer,

But it was
blocked by questions of my own,

What would
this do to our relationship,

If the truth
spills out,

If you find
my fears, my pain,

Would you
talk to be again,

Yes, I have
wants and needs,

And I’ll
listen to your deeds,

sometimes I want to know about you,

Tear down
your walls and share what’s inside,

Be authentic
and please don’t hide,

If you’re
only pretending to be my friend,

Then don’t
ask deep questions again,

Just say hi
and goodbye,

Smile a weak
smile and walk on by,

“How are you?” means you care too,

I’m ready if
you’re ready to share.

She Gave Me a Chance

Smile 2
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She stood there,

Leaning against the

Smiling at us all,

Her black dress,

Clung to her ripe

All I could do was sit
and gape,

I was mesmerized,

I wanted to ask her

But I was filled with
fear and doubt,

She moved towards me,

Her eyes intent, this
was my chance,

To ask her to the
homecoming dance,

Her auburn hair,

Cascaded down and
framed her face,

While I stared numbly
into space,

How could words elude

When there was so much I
needed to say,

My heart was ready but
my tongue got in my way,

 I stuttered, I stammered,

My heart began to

I smiled, and then the
right words I found,

What magic did she

That kept me under

She was beautiful, I

She was patiently
waiting still,

And I gave her my
biggest grin,

Life was good and my
confidence soared within,

“Would you, could you,

Give my heart a chance,

And go with me to the
Homecoming dance?”

She was trembling,

Obviously she had felt
my stress,

She smiled with relief
and said, “Yes!”

We were young,

And that moment was our

What better way to
connect heart to heart,

We fell in love,

And found true romance,

I was thankful she gave
me a chance,

She was bold,

Our grandkids will be

How she loved me and
gave me a chance.


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