BETWEEN THE LINES
 
When the war first started,
She made a promise she would keep,
That every night she'd write him,
Before she went to sleep.
 
So, every night she did just that,
And gave him all the news,
Her intent - to keep his spirits up,
And keep him from the blues.
 
A typical letter read like this,
"The kids are well, and so am I,
The lemon tree has lemons now,
I must make a lemon pie."
 
But between the lines, her message said,
"I love that little tree,
Remember when you planted it?
You said it was for me."
 
"But in my heart of hearts, I knew,
It was your love for lemon pie,
And my first pie was disastrous,
We laughed until we cried."
 
"We had to eat it with a spoon,
You even tried a straw,
Remember how I threatened you
If you ever told your Ma?"
 
"School is in full-swing now,
George Junior made the team,
He's old enough and big enough,
And tough enough, it seems."
 
But between the lines, her message was,
"Oh, honey, he's so small,
I should have told him no, I s'pose,
He's just a child, after all."
 
"His heart was really set on this,
I couldn't turn him down,
His helmet almost swallows him,
But he treats it like a crown."
 
"Carole's on the Dean's List,
The third time in a row,
Sweetheart, she's so smart,
She has your brains, you know."
 
"And pretty, too, our little girl,
You would be so proud,
She lights up any room,
And stands out in a crowd."
 
But what she really wished to say
Was somewhere between the lines,
"I'm worried about our Carole,
I think things aren't so fine."
 
"Her new boyfriend is too old for her,
She cannot understand or see,
That the world is her oyster now,
And there's more than one fish in the sea." 
 
"Oh, dear, if you were only here,
It would help so much,
A daughter needs a father,
Sometimes a mother's not enough."
 
"Your mom called the other day,
And asked us all for Sunday brunch,
I plan to go." "The kids won't, though,
They told me so up-front."
 
"After a certain age, you know,
Some family things become a chore,
George Junior's reached that age now,
Hard to persuade him anymore."
 
She dropped her pen; the words rushed out,
"Oh, honey, it's so tough ... so hard,
If you were here, he'd want to go,
You'd play ball with him out in the yard."
 
"Your mother doesn't look too well,
I think she needs us more,
She began to age the day you left,
 The day you went to war."
 
"Well, it's late, dear, I must go,
I guess that's all that's new,
Take care - stay safe - write when you can,
The kids and I love you."
 
She felt a tear upon her cheek,
As she laid down her pen,
 "I cannot say how much I miss you,"
Between the lines was written then.
 
"I ache to have you hold me,
I long for just your touch,
The pain I feel is very real,
 I am missing you so much."
 
She picked up her pen again,
"Enclosed please find some snaps,
Silly shots of the kids and me,
I hope they'll bring some laughs."
 
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
ŠApril 2005 ~ Revised January 2009