Salome Magazine
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LAce Posted Monday, June 18th, 2007
Miss Cora Kelly
Nonnie Augustine

Cora Kelly’s gifts were few–
her needlework mediocre,
as a cook she bored,
her house made do
with dust in every corner.
The choir had rejected her, she
fell off her horse, when he’d but walked.
The weeds in her garden ruled the space,
and strangled blooms didn’t get to show.
She didn’t dance, least not with grace.
If she played piano, her guests just talked.
Still a spinster at forty in 1850,
she’d be quite as single in 1860.
On Fridays Cora opened her garden door,
when children came to visit, to sit, to listen
to Miss Kelly’s stories, invented only for them.
Fantastic, dramatic, thrilling, funny
were her tales of derring-do.
Sometimes there’d be a sad, sad, saga
or a villainous villain or a struggle with hunger.
Through the wide French door dozens came,
and she loved them all, and knew each name.
Whether they came from near, or way over there
Had shiny hair and clothes pressed neat,
Tears, tangles, dirty bare feet,
Miss Kelly, the storyteller, didn’t care.

Comments [post a comment]

Posted by Judy Cabito on Monday, June 18th, 2007 at 6:32 PM
Nonnie, Why do I think Miss Cora Kelly is indeed Miss Nonnie. Love this story, the thought of her inventing stories, and all the stories tumbling out of it. Judy

Posted by Bonnie ZoBell on Monday, June 18th, 2007 at 6:40 PM
Nonnie, I love the way this story/poem shifts right in the middle, from all the things people are typically valued for which Miss Kelly doesn't have, to the tremendous value she does have with her stories and her influence on the children. Nicely done!

Posted by Patricia Parkinson on Tuesday, June 19th, 2007 at 1:42 AM
Miss Cora Kelly is lovely...xoxo

Posted by Anna McDougall on Tuesday, June 19th, 2007 at 9:25 AM
A woman out of her time. Lovely poem Nonnnie.

Posted by david coyote [ ] on Tuesday, June 19th, 2007 at 10:25 AM
Nonnie, Every time I read your writings, I see you, Cora Kelly. You always make me feel welcome.

Posted by Donia Carey on Tuesday, June 19th, 2007 at 5:32 PM
Oh, I love this little poem, Nonnie. Who cares about dust in every corner when there are stories, and children to listen.

Posted by Sharon Hurlbut on Wednesday, June 20th, 2007 at 9:25 PM
Sometimes a single gift is enough. Miss Cora shared hers, and I'm delighted that you share yours. Lovely!

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