by Vonda


I was a ne’er do well,
Although my folks did their best.
School and studies held no charm for me.
I wanted to go a wandering, out west.

Mother cried and said that I would get killed.
“Out there the people carry guns.”
Father said, “Don’t come asking for help,
When your journey is long and you run out of funds.”

But, I wanted to know what it would be like,
To be in a brand new land,
And make life just what a person wanted it to be.
So I left school and home before I was a man.

 I went, young, carefree and eager,
And, oh, the wonders I beheld.
It was all and more than I expected,
Along with the thrills and the freedom I felt,

In my wanderings, no job lasted for long,
so I learned them all, traveling over mountain and valley.
I rode the plains, never making a gain,
Then one day I met Sally.

While crossing the prairie,
Her family died and left the poor girl all alone.
I looked at her sweet face
And my heart was never again my own.

She married me quick, what choice did she have?
It was me or a guy called Ned.
I was fortunate to be the best man of the two,
So the same day we met, we were wed.

Life with me was hard for Sally,
I hadn’t saved a penny.
But , we found a spot before winter set in,
And built a sod house in a valley.

We worked from dawn till dark.
We plowed and planted in spite of the weather.
Sally never complained,
But I watched her and knew that she deserved better.

It broke my heart,
When a flood came and our crop washed away.
I hired out for the next year.
And left Sally alone through many a long day.

Everything failed, except for one thing,
The beauty of lovely Sally.
Then, suddenly, the town started to grow,
And I had more work than I could tally.

It took six hard, long years,
After living out there in the wild,
To build our first cozy, wooden home,
And, then, Sally had a child.

I watched Sally with young Sal,
And knew the fine life she wished for the girl.
The kind of life where she would have nice things.
And I worked extra hard to give them to her.

There was not another sight I ever beheld,
Could make my heart beat with such delight,
as those two golden heads
Glowing in the evening firelight.

What a child was Sal,
A little girl like no other,
She was adventurous, like me,
But, had the heart and beauty of her mother.  

Sally taught her how to read and write.
I became absorbed in my dedication.
To provide for her the best things in life.
I worked and saved to give her an education.  

For the finest education, do you see?
That I knew Sally would want for her child.
It would be hard to have her go off,
But, it would be just for a while.

Young Sal fussed and stomped.
She just couldn’t see it was right for her future.
So, I told her that it had to be,
For her dear mother had wonderful dreams for her.

The day before she was to leave,
Young Sal was refusing to pack.
She sighed and moped,
And wandered around, forth and back.  

Sometime in mid day came the noise of a cattle drive,
Passing through the valley to market.
Sally walked to the knoll,
and there spent the rest of the day watching it.

Just before dusk came, she walked
Slowly back to the house.
She looked sad, forlorn and lost,
When came a thundering of hoofs and glad shouts,  

A group of cowboys came a riding their steeds,  
tearing across the grassy sea.
The one in front, was only a lad.
Young, handsome and carefree.

He thundered pass with the rest.
Young Sally stood watching the pack,
Then, something queer happened.
He pulled his horse up and looked back.

She took a small step forward.
He turned and galloped back the coarse.
Without a word he reached out his hand.
She put her hand in it and leaped on back of that horse.

For the first time in my life, I got angry at Sal.
I told her she had better not go.
If she did, it would be without a penny,
as my parents had said to me, long ago.

You see, I knew how her mother was wanting,
Her daughters’ life to be better than hers.
But, young Sally didn’t hear a thing I said.
She said that she didn’t care.

She rode off with the cowboy,
And I knew her education was gone.
My heart ached to face my wife,
and tell her what  young Sally had done.

But my beautiful Sally had been watching it all,
And smiled when I told her I was sorry.
She put her hands on my shoulders.
And asked me, “Why do you worry?”

“Don’t you know how happy I’ve been through the years?”
“I couldn’t wish our daughter more.
There was no hardship could take me away,
When I was with the man I adored.”  

“What is even more amazing to me,”
My beautiful Sally went on.
“Is that while I knew I had been blessed with you,
You acted as if you were the lucky one.”

“So, don’t fret for me, my dear,
If our daughter, too, is blessed from above,
With the best thing life has to offer.
The best thing in life, is love.”



by Carrie


Us as friends,
Is that all we want?
Or how should we know,
When we flirt and taunt.

I see what you do.
Looking at other girls.
Wondering if they’re better.
But knowing its true.

Us as friends, or us as lovers.
How do I know if you care?
Looking at you as I wonder.
In a moment of romantic glare.

Showing a smile.
Trying to give a little hint.
Trying to be your style.
I think we’re meant for each other,
Being Us As Friends.




Race of Addictions
by Carrie


Starting the race isn’t too rough.
Finishing the whole way, takes courage to be tough.

Problems occur, excuses are said,
Death is there lurking, it waits up ahead.

It takes all a person’s strength to win.
That’s why not to take the challenge, and never begin.

Those who love you are watching, It’s them you’ll have to face.
I hope you make it, and win the race.




My Father
by Carrie


Today I hear you laugh and rejoice,
You and I, we’ve come so far.
The joy of your presence, the sound of your voice
Oh dad, you’re as big as the moon, I your little star.

Times are easy, times are rough.
I always see you as big and tough.
I guess what I’m trying to let you know,
Is that I’m with you in this race of life, fast or slow.




My Mother
by Carrie


You being the very best,
Has given me a lot of rest.

I need not worry about
All the things that make me pout.

I know you’ll take care
And always try to be fair.

Whenever you need to relax,
All you need to do is Fax.

You’ve always been there,
You will forever more.

Without you I could not bare,
I am the apple, you are my core.


by Vonda


Perhaps I loved my father too carelessly.
I didn’t let him know how much I needed him here.
I was so young, and felt so old.
I was hurt when he didn’t send me flowers,
like the other fathers did, or take the time to share,
And listen to my childish dreams.

Perhaps I expected too much of my friends.
They couldn’t assure me of their love--,
Not enough so that I would know.
I felt them going on without me,
Not understanding that I needed them to grab my hand,
And take me along.

Perhaps I was afraid of the way you made me feel,
Of the way you brought me into your circle,
And made me feel warm.
If I loved you, I could be hurt.
“Somehow,” I prayed, “Let me learn to trust in him.”
But I failed.

Is there hope for me still?
With the cracking of my soul,
I’ve felt the depths of despair and known hopelessness.
But if I can share someone else’s sorrows and learn
To give a word or smile to heal a broken heart,
If I can help another, then I can mend…







To JOANNE, on her 21st Birthday
by vonda


When you were born, my heart raced,
I closed my eyes in that bright place,
Like someone who sees too much of the sun,
Or is dazzled by joy that’s just begun.
When the white-gowned nurse brought you out,
I heard your cry like a clear, CRYSTAL chime,
And said to myself, “There is no doubt,
My daughter’s born; this is the best of times.”
For you brought joy, recalled in these few lines.

When you were five, you cried bitter tears
Because your doll was lost and you had fears
It would not be found.  You were innocent,
And the sight of your small face in tears wrenched
My heart.  Then when your doll was returned,
A piece of my own heart came back, and more,
for CRYSTAL tears that show a child’s concern
is as a painful wound at the hearts core.
This is what a mother learns, and more.

At fourteen, you shone like a sparkling glass
Of many facets, with CRYSTAL laugh
And bright, clear eyes.  Whether your expressive face
Played woman, teacher or sometimes child, you raced
Like a young filly in the sun.
No one could rein you in; I didn’t try,
Because your pounding race had only begun,
And who can stop a winner when she flies?
Watching you, my pride could not help but to rise.

Now you’re grown, a little girl no more,
But I still see the child coming through the door,
Eager to learn, anxious to please,
Happy with life and living it with ease.
This glass recalls it all like breath to life:
The CRYSTAL cry; the CRYSTAL tears;
The CRYSTAL laugh. No chance of strife
Can harm, if, like this glass, your heart stays clear.
I give you this gift of CRYSTAL on your special day, my dear.


All my love, Mom.



by vonda

(dedicated to Jim and Sylvia)


The cord was cut, replaced by the golden thread of life,
Through the years so lovingly spun.
First with the warp, a nature strong and true,
the tapestry was begun.

Sweet baby laughter filled the house,
Faltering steps became sure and fast,
The strands of time wove in,
                      Back and forth, the weave was cast.               

( When I was tired, he opened the door.
When I was harried, he did the chore.
When my heart ached, he mended with hugs so many,
And one simple line, “Mommy, you so pretty.”
The design etched in.)

Day after day the spinning progressed.
The boy grew to man and I pined.
He was on his own and I worried.
But, the fabric was rendered fine.  

Came the day when you entered his life.
Adding new colors to the design.
Threads were replaced and added.
You made his life sublime.

So, I passed him to you, asking just one thing,
Be sure your colors are true.
The tapestry rendered fine by me,
Can be torn asunder by you.

Life’s mistakes can be mended,
With patience, hope and time.
The fabric will be made tougher,
By a hand much stronger than mine.

Through all of life’s changes,
The tapestry’s colors add on.
In a time where things are disposed of,
The fabric of family goes on.  

Don’t expect him to be perfect,
Don’t expect perfection in yourself.
But, handle the golden thread with gentle hands.
The man you love, I love very much, myself.

This is a mother’s lament.
Someday you will know just how I feel,
When your little one, goes out into the world,
And the world beneath your feet begins to reel.

So forgive this silly ditty,
And go on with your life as best you can.
I’ve done the best that I could,
Our Jim is one fine man.



Great-Grandpa Vernell
by Carrie Ann LaVoie
April 6, 1997




There’s absolutely nothing I can do.
The tears just pour right out of my heart.
I want to yell and scream,
But I’m afraid if I do I’ll fall apart.

The moments we had together,
Were not ever a loss to me,
Because I loved you Grandpa,
And I hope it’s that you could see.  

I think I speak for all when I say
I you were strong willed and kind.
There’s nothing I want more
Than for you to be a treasure of mine.

I know you want me to be happy.
Happy for the moments we shared.
But there’s this hole in my heart,
And that hole is beginning to tear.

As I look back at what I’ve written
I see I’ve found my feelings.
I found out what I don’t have
And it’s comfort and strength I’m needing.

Here we are, remembering you.
I remember how proud you were of your past.
All the memories you had living you life.
I’ll keep close to my heart for they’ve to forever last.


I love you so much, always
Carrie, October 11, 1997






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