Remembering My Friend Nane

by Beverly Mach Geller

Her hands transformed flour, water, butter, eggs
into want more crepes, croissants

gathered lilacs, lilies, roses from the garden
to dress each room

When she planted, weeded, her broad-brimmed hat
guarded against freckles on her fair skin

At her stop the car request
she bent to pick goldenrod, cattails, ferns

Nane imitated whistles of birds
cavorting at the feeder

On frosty nights, she tucked in her children
with blankets up to the chin

 With her husband, she played their favorite duet, Schubert’s Piano Sonata,
regaled friends with her rendition of Ms. Otis Regrets

 With a grin, the elegant lady tossed
spitless spitballs at her husband

We shared the beauty of autumn leaves in the Berkshires,
cold stone crabs, bayside, in Florida’s Keys

heard rain pounding on our sheltering tin roof
above orange trees in Puerto Rico’s mountains

felt a caress from the surf’s foam—
white-patterned lace on the brown sand

I still see her Delft-blue eyes smiling, speaking welcome at her door—
inside, a table laden with quiche, Brie, plum tarts, absinthe

I still see her bringing honey cake, Swiss chocolate to us
giving coins to every street performer, every beggar

My friend Nane so like Rachel
biblical ayshes chayil

who reaches out her hand to the needy…
words of kindness are on her tongue…

ayshes chayil
: From King Solomon’s song of praise to the ideal woman.



Author Bio:

Beverly Mach Geller, a graduate of Syracuse University School of Nursing, earned a BA in English from Rutgers University and an MA from The College of New Jersey. Her poems, several of which won awards, have been published in many literary journals.

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