I wonder as I wander


‘Twas the week before Christmas and I went to my church,

But I felt lonely, so turned away with a lurch.

And that’s when I felt a soft tug on my sleeve.

You’ll miss next Sunday, and that’ll be Christmas Eve.

A Christmas service, I didn’t think I could face;

Too soon I’d drive alone on up the Natchez Trace.

I’ll still be with family, but in Savannah, Tennessee.

I allowed myself to think about the way it might be.

I’ve had fun there before, walked the Trace with my dog;

When Cleaver and I returned, I wrote a travelogue.

Not as much joy, now, many changes since then.

With those thoughts I added, my own loud amen.

Christmas isn’t all ho ho’s; often there’s grief,

But if I go in, the service might give some relief.

I heard a whisper, someone calling my name.

Nothing had changed—everything was the same.

Go ahead, turn around, draw in a deep breath;

Do what you should, you owe it to yourself.

Then a hand grasped mine; we made an unseen fist.

I had enough strength to walk, into Northminster Baptist.


Another week, and I’m driving in a northward way

With Bob, Gail, and Lindsay, I’m going to stay.

This Christmas season, no place I’d rather be.

Than with my loved ones, in Savannah, Tennessee.

I swerve around Olive Hill, then come to a stop

At their country home, high up on a hilltop.

The days I was there, we remembered many things

And celebrated the birth, of Christ our King.

Christmas is the season of much joy and love

But also a time of remembering, those waiting above.

Too soon I must leave, to drive back toward home.

I wondered as I wandered, so then began this poem.

I passed Red Dog Road, then soon the reservoir

And for these moments, Willard’s with me as before,

He watched as I walked, I and young Cleaver,

Driving always nearby, our ever present protector.

He’s gone from my sight, but still close by my side

My beloved husband, my shield and my guide.


Now back from Tennessee, and home with my dogs

I struck a long match and lit the gas logs.

With Roo, Petey, and June Cleaver nearby my side,

I sat back in a chair, and rested from the ride.

Gazing at the flames, I thought back on the years

When all my loved ones were present and near.

Almost a dream, those days from the past,

I never ever thought that they wouldn’t last.

How much love was mine, for so many years.

Now I see their faces through a veil of tears.

And I have to remind myself all over again,

How tender and blessed my life has been.

Two dogs scratch the door; I need to let them out

To tend to their business; that’s what they’re about.

Tired, I went to the closet and put on my gown.

The day’s been long; ‘twas time to settle down.

I put the dogs to bed, and turned out the light.

Christmas season is done—to all a good night.


St. Andrew’s Episcopal School seniors on the 2018-19 boys cross country team are (from left) Bain McHale, Clay Morris, Luis Flores, Tucker Shelson, James Xu, and Grant Morgan.