An Old Man’s Wallet

His wallet holds the scraps of yesterday
with faded photos dearest to his heart;
A raffle ticket, notice of a play
attended when his daughter had a part;
A stub from some wild party in the rain
at college when he went where laughter led;
A tiny rosebud wrapped in cellophane
from his true love’s bouquet when they were wed;
A snip of ribbon done in earthy tones
from some dead soldier’s grave across the sea;
Such pieces of his life are all he owns,
each remnant bringing back a memory.

These treasures, and a letter from a friend
will hold his world together till the end.



A conversation has begun
where woods comprise a scene.
The leaves are talking to the wind
__in syllables of green.

The gossip flows from twig to twig
and by the garden wall
I hear the burly oak relate
__the wildest tale of all.

Why should I listen to the field
for what the grass might say,
when leafy tongues already tell
__the story of the day?



Racing Home

In summer, when I was a boy,
__with Brother by my side,
we’d tramp across the cotton fields,
__or ramble far and wide
to gaze on sights the Good Lord made
__that left us wonder-eyed.

A campfire by the river’s edge—
__a fortress in a tree—
a log that made a pirate ship
__upon a stormy sea—
those were the things that brought us joy
__when we were young and free.

We had adventures by the score,
__for that was childhood’s way.
We laughed and dreamed of frogs and kings,
__but we could only stay
until we heard the dinner bell
__that called us home from play.

It carried faintly on the wind.
__Its message was sincere,
of nurture and a caring heart.
__With thoughts of love and cheer,
we raced along the forest trail
__to someone we found dear.

We did not stop for labored breath,
__or stubbing of a toe.
We might have had our boyish faults,
__but we were never slow
when Mama rang the dinner bell
__in days of long ago.



LaVern Spencer McCarthy has appeared in Writers and Readers Magazine, Meadowlark Reader, Agape Review, Fenechty Publications Anthologies Of Short Stories, From The Shadows, An Anthology Of Short Stories, Visions International, Fresh Words International Magazine and others. She is a life member of the Poetry Society of Texas and National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Inc. She resides in Blair Oklahoma where she is currently writing her fifth book of short stories.

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12 Responses

  1. Michael Pietrack

    I love the Old Man’s Wallet. In just a few lines, we learn so much and seem to know the man. Powerful writing.

  2. Paul Freeman

    Wow! I loved all three of these.

    Those ninth and tenth lines of the sonnet were heart-breakingly poignant. As for Conversation, it read like something Alice would have experienced in Wonderland. As for Racing Home, I’m so glad you didn’t break the nostalgia to compare those carefree, outdoor summers of yesteryear with the cooped up TV and video-gaming summers many kids experience today.

    Racing Home is my fave by a hair’s-breadth.

    Thanks for three fine reads that deserve coming back to, LaVern.

  3. Cynthia Erlandson

    I’m especially impressed with the “Conversation”. The whole idea, and its expression, are delightful. “The leaves are talking to the wind / In syllables of green” is such an imaginative thought, as is the thought of the the burly oak relating “the wildest tale of all”!

  4. Roy E. Peterson

    LaVern, all three of your poems are expressive emotive gems. The described items in the wallet portray personal and emotional treasures that cannot be replaced. “The Conversation” is a great way to conceive or interacting with nature. “Racing Home” reminded me so much of my childhood days! Thank you for sharing all three!

  5. Cheryl Corey

    “Racing Home” brims with homespun goodness. A very enjoyable read.

  6. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    What a trio of poetic treats. I love them all, but like Cynthia, I found “Conversation” striking – it’s so refreshing with its “syllables of green” and “leafy tongues”. I’m often caught up in the whisper of the garden gossip. Perhaps that’s a calling to the art of poetry. Very well done, indeed!

  7. Mary Ekpenyong

    “An Old Man’s Wallet” portrays unforgettable moments shared with loved ones. LaVern has captured a vivid picture of life and the things we hold dear. The “Conversation” is nature’s language to those who listens carefully. “Racing Home” is life apart. Life unsoiled by today’s noisome zests. Lovely poems!

  8. Joshua C. Frank

    LaVern, I love them all! I can’t decide which is my favorite. I notice these are your first poems published here; welcome!

    Your bio is quite an impressive poetic résumé.

  9. Norma Pain

    I also loved all three poems, my favorite being “Conversation”. Thank you LaVern for sharing your wonderful poetry.

  10. Stephen Dickey

    I just red these, all three are brilliant. “An Old Man’s Wallet” is a very moving poem, my favorite.


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