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Staton: Discovering a local poet offers reflection

While on a farm many years ago, Eva Estes of Clark County wrote her first poem.

She had never named it until this past Saturday when we were speaking by phone. She said she would have named it “The Pathway.” It goes like this.

“‘Neath the past and darkened wood, I would stroll there if I could,

I’d take the path where slumber dwells, drink to the cup of her deep well.

But the other road I must take, for surely there’s some deed to wait.”

I asked Eva if she burdened about something when she wrote that and she said, “Probably.”

Her daughter Brenda Keller is in my homemaker group. When I asked her what she remembered most about her mother, she said she was a good mom and it would be hard to ever put down in words all she loved about her.

She said she appreciated that she would always take her friends with them roller skating and to the movies. She also remembered picking blackberries and strawberries with her. She remembered how she put their needs in front of her wants and desires by quitting smoking so she could pay for piano lessons for them.

Eva worked hard at Loma’s Manufacturing making blouses,  then at Curlees, which became Hart Schaffner Marx, making men’s suits. Though these full time jobs took a lot out of her, she took the time to make life fun for her children.

Brenda could not help but think of her Mom’s sense of humor when they were growing up. She said one time around Easter, her Mom switched malted milk balls in the hen’s nest to look like the hen had laid them.

Her brother went out to get the eggs in when he started whooping and hollering about the eggs. Of course, that made for some excitement in their home that day and became a fun memory to have.

Brenda said her sister inherited more of her Mom’s sense of humor than she did. I could not help but laugh at that trick Eva played for her kids and could just picture her son’s reaction to the eggs.

I wonder what the hen must have thought was going on that day.

Though Eva had fun thoughts through the years she also had her serious thoughts.

This became evident through a poem she wrote nearly 30 years ago that she entitled, “Abortion Clinic.” This poem simply amazed me how beautiful it is and I feel it needs to be shared with the world.

“What if that lovely, little, maiden in the starlight of her plight

Had sought out an abortion clinic to sweep Him from her life.

I’m sure she had fears aplenty, for they were vicious in her day.

But she sought out the only answer, she fell on her knees to pray,

And accepted the plans He gave her for mankind’s darkened soul.

She was part of God’s salvation His plan to make man whole.

This is why on Christmas morn,

The Baby Jesus was born.”

I do not know what this poem does for you or how prophetic it is to you but I am amazed at how she felt the need to write this 30 years ago. She did say it was right after her granddaughter was born. I could not help but think how much we need this poem. I said as much to her and she agreed.

I never thought about the significance of the fact that of all people Mary, Jesus’s mother, had more than anyone to deal with because of her pregnancy.

How on Earth could she explain to anyone about being pregnant? It was a pregnancy that was totally miraculous. Without Mary’s decision, I would not even be here.

Estes has written other poetry, including one for the back of her husband’s casket, Brenda said.

I am so glad I was introduced to the poem “Abortion Clinic” by a friend. I felt it was so worthy to be shared.

Clark County has so many talented people that may never get recognized and their work is often hidden by the world.

I hope you enjoyed her poem as much as I did.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active at First United Methodist Church and Towne and Country Homemakers.