Jay Nocera of Niche Cartoons 2012
Monday, January 14, 2013
Love Sonnet To My Wife
George Hancock, 1917-1992
Who is this girl?
This woman on the pillow next to mine;
Who lies to rest beside me?
On the pillow next to mine.
This is she whose life I share
In all the things I do.
The toil that is so wearying
No chores of which are new.
The humdrum work of day goes by-
Its tedium marks the time,
Until the day is ended
And she rests on the pillow next to mine.
My arms with love reach to her;
Now man is growing bolder.
Her head must leave that pillow
And rest upon my shoulder.
Love of long years triumphs
As increase it does billow.
Sweet, blissful, and eternal love
Comes to me from that pillow.
Love Sonnet to My Wife
George Hancock, 1917-1992
I discovered this poem while sorting through my mother’s things after her passing in 1998. Faded over time, it is hand-written in perfect penmanship on a fragment of wrinkled white stationery.
The poem was buried in one of her bureau drawers amongst the old-style embroidered hankies and never-worn kidskin gloves. The original poem is now framed and preserved for the next generation.
My parents were private people and never really revealed much about their relationship to anyone. My sense is this poem was written many years ago at the mid-point of their marriage and lives.
George and Mary met at a USO dance in early 1942 in Fresno, California, then a small town in California’s Great Central Valley. They were married in April of 1942 just before my dad shipped out to Burma to serve in the Army Air Corps, Intelligence Unit. My parents did not see one another again for more than four years.
My parent’s third date was the wedding ceremony where they met to exchange vows. Before this occasion, conversation was by letter or phone. It still puzzles me how my dad proposed, but I guess he found a way.
Years later when I was nursing, one of my patients turned out to be an old Army buddy of my dad's. (Life is one big circle.) When my parents visited him, my dad’s old chum remarked, ‘…..George and Mary are as much
in love as the day they married….they skipped into the room holding hands….’
My father passed away just two months shy of my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. In a sentimental mood, my mother once remarked that dad chose this time so he did not have to say he had been married 50 years.
I am publishing this poem to give tribute not only to my father’s poetic verses, but to an extraordinary love shared by two ordinary people during extraordinary times.
May we all know such love before life’s end.
Shared with permission by
Marcia Hancock, Author of A Daughter's Remembrance
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.