In celebration of Thanksgiving, I have permission to bring you a couple of my Charlottesville friend Val Matthews’ verses. She is much like her verses, in that she is kind, sprightly, and generally celebratory of life, vicissitudes et al


In the peaceful silence

Broken only by the rustle

Of people, who

Feeling moved to speak –

Rose to their feet.

A father held his little sonval-- quaker wedding

Firmly on his lap.

But wiggling free,

The boy, whose parents

Lived apart, stood bravely,

And speaking clearly, said

“I’m happy you are in love.

I hope it lasts

A long long time.



Another New Year’s Day,

And suddenly a memory

Of far away South Africa

Returns… Very early

One New Year’s morning,

Coming down a steep

City hill – through sleepingval belmont market

Apartment dwellers,

A cheerful African man,

Kicking a can and shouting

“HAPPY New Year!!

Kick – HAPPY New Year!”

Kick – undeterred

By sleepy shouts of protest from all around.

“HAPPY New Year?”

As he disappeared

Into the distance,

Kicking the can.


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