Poems

by Mildred R. Keough
Lived a beautiful and full life from 01. 21.1914 - 10. 24.2008

01

City Restaurant by Millie Keough

(Likely written about a memory when her mother had been in treatment for tuberculosis in a sanatorium in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State)

 

Dining out was a treat
for folks on hospital fare.

In this small town, there was
not much choice in 1928.

Dickie’s diner and
“City Restaurant”
afforded patients,
a welcome break.

 

I remember it was plain;
no décor, but clean.

Coffee at the lunch counter
came in porcelain mugs,
heavy, substantial,
no fancy china there.

Customers could watch
the short order cook
at the grill.

 

The room next door
was for leisurely dining.

Sparkling clean;
damask tablecloths and napkins
at each place, waiting for customers.

 

The food was typical,
but wholesome,
not gourmet for sure.

 

The waitress was pleasant,
greeted people with a smile.

Her bobbed hair, red and
she was short and chunky.

Her name was “Inez,” mom said.

They greeted each other like
long lost friends.

 

It was quiet the night we were there.

I guess we were very late.

I looked around,
and saw we were the
only customers in sight.

“It didn’t matter,” Inez said,

As she wrote our order in
pencil on her small pad.

 

Inez chatted with us
about the town;
told us things to see.

“No time this trip,” Dad said,
“perhaps in the summer another time.”

 

I’d been in fancier restaurants;
been served exotic kinds of food…
like lamb chops with a skirt.

 

Some restaurants,
I remember with pleasure;
some I just forgot.

But I’ll remember always
the “City Restaurant”
with its village friendliness.

 

As we left that long ago night,
the lights were dimmed.
Today the building still stands,

a “For Sale” sign in the window.
It looks forlorn, abandoned,
dirty, dreary, no longer welcoming.

 

In my memory I recall a pretty restaurant
and a waitress who smiled at me,
warmed us with her small town welcome.
I keep the “City Restaurant,” in my memory
just as I first saw it back in 1928
as a young flapper girl from the big city of Troy.

 

02

Jeanne by Millie Keough - Written 1945

Daughter, last child of my flesh,
Special child of mine,
I wanted to hold you, oh, so close
Hold back the hands of time.

 

The days rushed by,
No more my tiny babe.
A little girl with golden curls,
Eyes not blue, not jade.

Your mood controls their color,

As you gaily dance through life.

Happy fun filled child of mind,
Growing so fast, day by day.

 

03

A Special Room by Millie Keough

It is not a very big room.

Nor is it really small,

Through the windows I can see
a birch tree standing tall.

 

This room is very special
to all who gather there.

One feels the depth of love,
of lives intertwined and shared.
It holds all of life within,
with the pictures on the walls.

 

Seven generations joined;
family stories to recall.

We remember those now gone
to that bigger room above,
and recount all their stories,
with hearts so filled with love.

 

New pictures now are added,

Great grandchildren, very small.

Their stories join the history told
by the pictures on the wall.

 

04

Two Chairs by Millie Keough

Two chairs sit side by side.

One is yours — the other mine.

One chair is empty now.
I sit alone in mine.

Yet, I feel your presence there.
as I sit with memories.
But when I face reality,
there is just the empty chair,
and I am alone.

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© 2014 Patricia Keough-Wilson