Mom was tiny, tough, and pretty. She acquired the name Lewis because my grandparents had hoped for a boy and, for reasons I do not know, wanted a child named Lewis. My grandparents named her younger brother Louis. The following poem about my mother is one of the prose poems in my new book of poetry, On the Rim of Wonder, published last month by Uno Mundo Press. Currently you can purchase it from Amazon or if you are in Amarillo, at Hastings on Georgia. Shortly, it will be available on Kindle and signed copies can be ordered from me.
Barbara Lewis Duke, pretty, petite, blue-eyed and blond, my mother, one
fearless, controlling woman. Long after Mom’s death, Dad said, “Barbara was
afraid of absolutely no one and nothing”. They married late: 34 and 38. He
adored her unconditionally. She filled my life with horses, music, love,
cornfields, hayrides, books, ambition. Whatever she felt she had missed,
my sister and I were going to possess: books, piano lessons, a college education.
Her father, who died long before I was born, loved fancy, fast horses. So did she.
During my preschool, croupy years, she quieted my hysterical night coughing
with stories of run away horses pulling her in a wagon. With less than one hundred
pounds and lots of determination, she stopped them, a tiny Barbie Doll flying
across the Missouri River Bottom, strong, willful, free.