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Poem on the passing of a very great woman

In Man of the House, the autobiography of former House Speaker Thomas "Tip" O'Neill, he wrote how legendary Boston Mayor James Michael Curley once told him to memorize ten poems, so that he would NEVER be at a loss for words when called upon to make a speech.

I told Mom about that years ago, and she, ever the reference librarian, gave me a book for my next birthday, entitled Poems that Touch the Heart. It had 8 of those 10 poems, and the two that weren't in the book had been photocopied and placed within.

Like clean handkerchiefs, I've taken to sharing this one poem with friends. It wasn't in the book Mom gave me, but it is the poem I read years later as I delivered her eulogy. Since then, I've tucked it into cards or left it in the hands of a friend in similar times of loss. Just today, I received an e-mail from a friend, which prompted this posting. In it, she wrote:

"It's appropriate that I write this little note now as it is the 7th anniversary of my mother's death and your poem that you sent in a card meant so much to me. I think of you frequently at this time each year. Funny how life is, isn't it? --- "

The Rose Still Grows Beyond The Wall
By A.L.Frink

Near a shady wall a rose once grew,
Budded and blossomed in God's free light:
Watered and fed by morning dew,
Shedding its sweetness day and night.

As it grew and blossomed fair and tall,
Slowly rising to loftier height,
It came to a crevice in the wall,
Through which there shone a beam of light.

Onward it crept with added strength
With never a thought of fear or pride,
It followed the light through the crevice’s length,
And unfolded itself on the other side.

The light, the dew, the broadening view
Were found the same as they were before.
And it lost itself in beauties new.
Breathing its fragrance more and more.

Shall claim of death cause us to grieve,
And make our courage faint or fall?
Nay, let us faith and hope receive,
The rose still grows beyond the wall!

Scattering fragrance far and wide,
Just as it did in days of yore.
Just as it did on the other side,
Just as it will forevermore.



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