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Get ready to hear from northern Illinois’ “prose pros." Poetically Yours airs Fridays during Here and Now at 12:31 and All Things Considered at 6:18 p.m. Hosted by WNIJ Arts Reporter Yvonne Boose, you will hear voices from northern Illinois poets as they share their words about the world around them. This weekly segment will give you a moment of pause and reflection as your wind down the week. If you would like to submit a poem for consideration, please send submissions to yboose@niu.edu

Poetically Yours Ep. 73 - Christmas joy is in the air

Paula.jpg
photo provided by Paula Morhardt.
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Welcome to Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems by northern Illinois poets. This week’s segment features Paula Morhardt.

Morhardt started writing when she was a child. She’s had poems published in various small magazines but in 2017, her life changed.

On the morning of Nov. 14, Morhardt found her husband of 42 years dead in his chair. He died in his sleep. The next day, her mother passed away.

Morhardt blogged, “I have lost my two best friends. I cannot call mom and cry about losing my husband, and neither can I feel his arms around me and his voice rumble in his chest while I cry about mom.”

In 2019, Morhardt self-published with Amazon and, “Widow’s Walk: How My World Ended And What Happened After” was released to the world. Her moment of greatest despair became her moment of saving grace. She has since published “Widow’s Tears of Sorrow, a companion book of poetry. In 2020, she found a publisher and hasn’t stopped since. A list of her books can be found here.

Morhardt spends each day learning how to live as a widow. She spends as much time as possible with her grandchildren. She has vegetable and flower gardens, and a fruit orchard. In her spare time, she quilts, sews, and works on her scroll saw. She wrote the poem “Family Christmas” several years ago.

It’s Christmas time

And here we are,

Gathered once again

‘neath the Christmas star.

We are family here

One and all;

Through thick and thin-

Through rise and fall.

We help each other

When someone’s down;

Some play the hero,

Some play the clown.

One thing has stayed constant

All through the years;

Amidst the love,

The laughter and tears.

As we stand to pray,

And sit to eat,

We remember what’s to come-

The yearly treat.

So, sit and anticipate

Among the candles light.

For soon it will be time

For the Christmas paper fight

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the Ground Truth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.