(26 DEC 1943 / Wyandotte MI)

Requiescat In Pacem

Decked out in chiffon and lace
young Ella, named after mom,
never felt so grown,
rushing to mother’s call -
eager to pilot the stroller today.

The streets to market were vacant
save for a frail widow
guiding her walker to their right -
smiling at the girl in chiffon.

Without warning, shocks
seized the old woman's frame,
spreading her like a crucifix
beside the irrelevant walker.

She battled through glazing eyes,
clinging to the images of mother, stroller
and the girl in chiffon -
their cries a distant echo.

But their images presently faded
and old dear Ella returned to original dust.

“Requiescat in pacem.”

July, 2006

by Robert Charles Howard

Comments (4)

A wonderful poem Robert. I love the use of Latin in the title as it adds depth to the piece. The contrast between the antiquity of the title's language and the narration of the poem itself is great, and I think this illustrates the importance of having a title that creates a mood. There is a real feeling of classicism about the poem, even the use of spreading (the sactity of the word 'crucixficion' rather than 'eagled' illustrates the care that has been put into each word of this poem. The opening stanza and especially the aside of: 'young Ella, named after mom, never felt so grown, ' is excellent. The musicality is, as expected, great. Alfred Brendel springs to mind when I read your poems. The problem with Brendel is his limitation of language. You use language to the full and bring out the tones of each syllable.
a very touching and moving piece
This is a profoundly moving piece which cleverly explores the moment of death through the imagined eyes of of an old woman who once wore chiffon and pushed a stroller. Requiescat in Pacem is a beautiful title. Nothing superfluous here. Just fine lyrical poetry. love Allie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
going to put my latin skills to work to figure out the last sentence. your poems are always inspiring to me. little bits of memory(or imagination) collided in current love. current visions. you're a standard. keep on, Sus