Mildred #SampleSunday #Poem

I was telling Ruby, one of my new-ish friends, about Mildred, one of my first friends in this town. Mildred recruited me into the club of which Ruby and I are members, which is what brought Mildred into the conversation. Mildred was my best friend here until her untimely death. She was far from young, and died as an eventual result of a childhood illness, but her death at any age from any cause would have been untimely to me.

She was my bestest friend here.

I wrote this poem in 1998, not too long after she passed.


by Marian Allen

You walked into the Post Office
and I smiled.
Then I remembered
you were dead.
You turned into someone else
and I looked away.
She wouldn’t have understood
my tears, so quick and hot,
like a balloon full of water
and two holes.

I heard you talking,
in the next aisle at Jay C.
Then I remembered
you were dead.
Why couldn’t the woman
pushing the squeaky cart
be you? Why was she here and you
cold and still, you
starched, pressed and folded
and not like you
at all?

At an out-of-town play
I saw a familiar face….
Then I realized
I was thinking of you.
How you would have loved
basking in this novelty with me.
You would have smiled at this woman
–I’ll smile–
you’d have talked about
earrings you used to have
like hers.
I’ll tell her about you
–just a little.

Every now and then,
I see you.
I hate it that you’re gone.
But how sweet to see you
now and then, for just one
second. The ladies seem pleasantly
surprised; wondering, perhaps, why
I look at them
with such familiar fondness
and such gratitude.


A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Is there someone who has been gone for twenty years or more, but you still miss?



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Mildred #SampleSunday #Poem

  1. PM Laberge

    July 16, 2017 at 2:23pm

    I often see, or hear people I once knew. I generally see them, while I am driving or riding in a car, and someone walking or standing by the side of the road looks just like a certain person I once knew. It is over pretty quickly!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 16, 2017 at 5:39pm

      I see “people I know” in other places, like hometown friends when I’m out of town. Then, when I was in New York City, I saw somebody who looked like somebody I knew — and it WAS somebody I knew. The local school band was on a field trip. lol

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  2. joey

    July 16, 2017 at 4:36pm

    Beautiful poem and tribute to MIldred. So sorry for such a big loss. I had a Mildred, too. She was in her 90s and lived across the street from me when all my kids were little. She taught me everything I know about roses. She was an amazing woman, sharp and spry, and never seemed to be 90. Probably more than anyone she influenced my thoughts on aging. When I left, we wrote letters for a while, and then the letters stopped. Somewhere, in another dimension, someone’s enjoying our Mildreds. I think it’s right nice yours peeks in.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 16, 2017 at 5:39pm

      My mom had a friend named Mildred, too. Is there something about that name? I’m happy my Mildred drops in on me, now and then. 🙂

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Dan

    July 16, 2017 at 5:37pm

    I do this often. It’s nice to think of old friends and it’s nice to offer a smile.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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