This poem coveys many memories of our mother and the home she loved outside of Warren, Arkansas. It was written originally for my siblings — Sandy Smith, Tom Elliff and Bill Elliff. She loved that home and either lived there or returned there all her life. We cherished that home as well. Close to the end of her life, while suffering with Alzheimer’s, we took her back. Her sister was there and was able to care for her for a couple of precious weeks. They had an amazing experience together after she had experienced such mental struggles, remembering those earlier days which she recalled beautifully. The reference to the pony was something she mentioned often when turning the corner on that dirt road. This pony given to her as a child went so far, and no further! Thanks for indulging me by reading this simple poem.
Her Unchanging Place
“There’s the place I love,” she said,
At that familiar turn.
“The place where pony Billy stopped,
And would not venture on.”
The red clay road led on a bit
To what she called “down home,”
The house and porch were unperturbed
The fence was as we’d known.
The gate as it had ever been
Would swing as had before
And up the steps on to the porch.
That very same front door.
Her sister gave those loving hugs
To each and every one.
And mother’s bags were toted in
For respite days of fun.
What wasn’t just the same as old
Was mother’s addled mind,
Her days were numbered we all knew,
She had but little time.
Yet she recalled the old home place
She knew it all so well
And spoke as if she’d never left
The place those memories dwell.
It was as if the old home place
Was where her mind should stay
And take a rest from all the fears
Of mental disarray.
That loving spot housed joyful thoughts
That could not now be gone.
Where siblings would not ever leave
Nor mom and dad, pass on.
It would not be too long from then.
She finished all her days.
We placed her body in the ground
Close by, until it’s raised.
Her home was her unchanging place
A foretaste of above.
And full of memories’ sweetest charms,
Her mind’s first house of love.
The old home place has now burned down
Those memories fade too fast;
But never ending life is hers
And she is home at last.
Copyright © Jim Elliff 2022 5/13/23 revision