O' Where Is The Smile Beneath the Bonnet? (Funeral Ode to Beatrice Rupard Fletcher @ 98)

05/31/2008 12:19 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

May 31, 2008
Grassy Knob Mountain
Union Grove, N.C.

Circling the old house, mired down in a carpet of grasses,

Or poking around the red barn, and the outlying fruit trees;

From the cracks of sheds, I cut long limbs of red roses...

Stalks of rainbow goddesses, and the pale red peonies.

I love the way the tattered clouds wind across the sky,

As summer arrives, and leaves me, with a tear in my eye.

Lay out the winter clothes, the garden knows what's wrong:

The petals of our favorite rose, be in the shadows dark and long.

Although we can't be found in the garden, singing this song,

We must carry on, when the last Rose of summer is gone... *

Sprigs of white and pink, a bit of this and that everywhere;

But, alas, the greeter is not at the door, she is no longer here.

O' where is the warm smile beneath the yellow bonnet?

O' where is the bonnet that framed the good face beneath it?

O' where are the kind eyes that always spotted the little ones?

O' where is the hoe that served as the staff of this lone woman?

Who graced this place with her green thumb, without frills;

Blessed are the pure in heart, verily, for see God, they will.


* 'Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming all alone...