April 7, 2017 Poem: “At Home, after April the First”

NaPoWriMo 2017 April 7

At Home after April the First
(for My Great-grandmother, Katherine Hinman Williamson Schultz)
I remember 521 Broad Street,
that solid, brown, two-story house you built
with Emil, local pharmacist. Bridegroom
and bride, yet already quite adult,
were you—zaftig Edwardian thirty-
something—carried over the new threshold
into the hallway and polished music room?

Here is an invitation, on thick cream stock,
to your wedding. It floated for years around
that snug-built but lofty house on the bank
of the Menasha River, was somehow washed
here, to me, in the next century. And
another card announcing when town folk
could call. To announce your new rank

as a married woman, your calling card:
this one, the smallest, in thin gothic script.
A triplet of transformation. You grew
fifty years older there, went from plump to lank,
always loving (if not Emil) then a good joke,
a witty gesture or phrase turned neat,
even, Kate, when the joke was on you.

Leslie Schultz

Some years ago, I wrote a long post about this great-grandmother–part of a series of four–and there is a poem in my collection about the house she built that mentions her piano and her son and daughter-in-law. This morning, I realized, it was high time that she had her own poem.


Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!

4 thoughts on “April 7, 2017 Poem: “At Home, after April the First”

  1. Great photos to accompany a wonderful poem. I feel as if I know her a bit. I looked at her photos to see that hint of a laugh and scrolled down to the last photo and smiled! Wonderful.

  2. Hi, Patsy,

    Thank you for your comment. Because Emil Schultz owned a pharmacy that developed film (free to him), we have more than our share of informal (even goofy) photos from the before the Roaring Twenties. So far as I know, the others in this photo are friends. Grandma Kate was a professional musician and always held paid positions as organist and choir director at their local Congregational Church for more than forty years. I think of this image as “Kate Conducting the Kitchen Concert”! Leslie

  3. What a fabulous final picture of family (or friends?) frolicking a century ago. So unusual for a photograph of that era. How wonderful to have a glimpse into her spirit!

    Am enjoying your poetry month journey.

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