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My Too-Late Note

Monday - 04/26/2021 — A couple of weeks ago, I tried to make contact with someone only to find that the phone number I had didn’t work and the email I sent her bounced back. So I Googled her. And found her obituary.

The good intention a number of months too late. How often does that happen? If only I’d contacted her sooner. If only…if only…

Here’s the email I tried to send, and below it is her poem that so impressed me.

Nell, I was just looking through my old copy of the 2018 Atlanta Pen Women Branch anthology and re-read your poem "From the Deck."

I tried to call you to let you know how lovely it was to rediscover such a jewel of writing, but the phone number I had wouldn’t go through.

Your words—"morning’s holy prize"—reminded me so much of what I feel each morning when I take my tea out to my front porch and watch the dawn. Only occasionally do I find deer (with their "exclamation ears") in my yard, but when I do, I feel a kinship with you through your exquisitely phrased words.

So, I just want to thank you.

From the Deck

Nell Abbott

Down through the layered limbs of green

where morning spills its bits of sun,

she comes.

Brown as the leaves she tiptoes through

with dancer’s lift of leg and hoof,

she comes.

Brushing aside the redbud leaves,

the lovely valentine redbud leaves,

she finds the seeds.

The greedy birds have left her few

and as I lift my cooling cup,

her head come up.

Her exclamation ears point up.

Her eyes find mine, hers wild and wise

and unafraid,

The way all creatures must have stared

through Eden’s mists before harm came.

And so …

She gives me morning’s holy prize,

that with each dawn’s redemptive skies

our souls are born.

And an important postscript: Happy Birthday, Savannah!

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