Time – a poem by LEMS

The other day I was  going through some of my father’s old papers and came across this poem which my mother, LEMS (Lucy Edith Mary Stansfeld, wrote. It was dedicated to him. It appears to have been written in 1968 shortly before she died. I  find it beautiful and moving, worth of being shared. I regret that I didn’t know that she was writing at that time so that I could have discussed it with her.

My purse is nearly empty – this my pain,
to eek the few base coins that still remain.
How prodigal the shining gold I spent
thoughtless, thriftless, and incontinent
And there is none on whom to blame my loss,
this was no crock-of-gold to turn to dross,
But amply and sufficient from my birth
what I have wasted could supply this dearth.
TIME is the currency, DEATH the empty purse
few had more coin, and few have used it worse.
Tip in my hand my last poor pence, weigh my finds,
open my palm to look again – the brightness blinds!
All that was scant and dirty, base and old,
the alchemy of love has turned to gold!

9 thoughts on “Time – a poem by LEMS

  1. A family treasure, Jane dear, and truly a testament to your father’s quiet devotion. Thank you for allowing us a peek into your mother’s thoughts and your father’s silent response. A moving piece of emotions and wisdom.

    What life together, what joys and sorrows, and what celebrations evoked these words. Every reading will surely trigger some new memory of some old incident or event for you. Special moments for you. Special memories left behind.

    God bless.

    • Thank you for your comment. It is proverbial that someone on their death-bed should evaluate how they have spent their life. I think that my mother spent hers well, but especially savor the last two lines. Surely this testament to Dad’s devotion explains why he, neither sentimentalist nor hoarder, should have kept this poem. I’m happy that he did

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