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Love Wrapped in Ironed White Tissue Paper

by Beth Lynn Clegg

Mother's last Christmas
was spent in the hospital
while family members
bunked at the Hilton
pretending to be festive
as we gathered around
a small ceramic tree
sparkling with colored bulbs
reflecting on an array of 
packages tied with ribbons
and a wicker basket filled
with tiny items wrapped in
ironed white tissue paper.
Unable to shop
and not wanting
to burden my father
who was in denial
Items from around their home
collected over fifty-two years
were selected with care
a note indicating
original ownership or origin
tucked along side
hoping each of us would
derive special meaning from her
"Hand-me-down gifts."
The porcelain man and woman
are reminders of my parents
and her indomitable spirit
as Cancer decimated her body
it could not conquer
her loving thoughtfulness
our most treasured gift of all.

"Love Wrapped in Ironed White Tissue Paper" won an honorable mention in the Lucidity Journal International Poetry Contest. Beth Lynn Clegg, Houston, began her writing career after retiring from other endeavors and knows she's been blessed to have had her work published in a variety of genre.