Monday, July 30, 2007

Senior Poet Discovered!

Mary Schmich, Chicago Tribune columnist, wrote a fascinating story published on Sunday, July 29. It presents Donna Humphrey, heretofore known to the media and the public only as the mother of Chicago Judge Joan Lefkow and the victim of a horrendous murder in 2005, at the age of 89. The judge's husband, too, was killed.

Now we know that Mrs. Humphrey was also a poet. One of her later poems, entitled "Widows," begins as follows:

"We are everywhere
We with our little perms
Our little purses,
Our careful steps
Supported by our walkers
Or our canes.
Years ago we laid our men away
And though
We did not know it then
Our own significance
As well."

Even though I am a widow myself, I don't quite fit that mold, at least not yet. Still, I've known many, including my own late mother (1911-2007), who did or do. I find the poem enthralling, and I believe it applies to a broad spectrum of "elderly women."

How happy I am that Judge Lefkow and Suzanne Isaacs, of Ampersand Inc., plan to publish Humphrey's poems in September. I will be in line to buy a copy!

Read Mary Schmich's column in the Tribune or at And fellow seniors, be sure to write about your lives, your memories, and your thoughts, whether in prose or in poetry. Preserve your writing! Donna Humphrey's children discovered her poems in boxes, folders, and desk drawers, and how lucky they--and we--are!

Copyright 2007 by Marlys Marshall Styne

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