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Rosemary’s Poem

This poem was written for a friend of mine who barely survived an accident with a drunk driver.  It was presented to her on Easter Sunday, April the 8th, which was the 5th anniversary of the new life she was given.  It will be read at a M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) event in Denver at the end of April, 2012.

 

I was only driving into work

To take care of my kids

When you made a choice to take from me

Nearly all I had to give.

 

Not only were you very drunk

But should not be here at all

An illegal man from Mexico

Put behind our prison walls.

 

You tore my body almost in half

My ribs were in my lungs

My left arm and shoulder were torn away

My right leg and foot just hung.

 

They pronounced me dead at 3:04 am

On Sunday, April the eight

And told my friends to bring my kids

For they feared it was too late.

 

But then the Police Chief called to them

To tell them I had life

And to bring the kids down anyway

For I may not live past night.

 

My surgery ten hours long

Was only to sustain

Until the doctor could figure out

How to make me whole again.

 

Courtney cried and when her tears

Fell down onto my arm

They say that tears came from my eyes

Making death a false alarm.

 

That beautiful angel stayed by me

Refusing to take a break

She held my hand and talked to me

Saying I smiled, but would not wake.

 

Many could not come to me

For I was broken to the eye

They could not handle the way I looked

Without breaking down to cry.

 

Due to my state of comatose

They had to sell our home

The kids were staying with my friend Dave

To keep things close to norm.

 

My sleep it lasted two months long

Until my eyes would open

And because my name’s Hispanic nature

They assumed that’s what I’d spoken.

 

Interpreters and Spanish forms

Down my throat were thrust

Five languages I’d spoke before

It simply was unjust.

 

After twenty-eight long surgeries

And over thirty broken bones

Adding metal to my knees and hips

And my legs before they’re sown.

 

The doctor came to me in June

And said, “Because you’re paralyzed

We’re moving you to a nursing home,”

And I was mortified.

 

I begged him keep me a little more

To give me one more chance

He said I’d have to walk away

And cook if I had a chance.

 

I begged he pull these tubes from me

For how I breathed and I was fed

And the filter pulled from within my heart

For I watched it from the bed.

 

I had to learn to dress again

To speak and then to eat

For you traumatized my brain so much

That it nearly chose defeat.

 

I worked out in the gym as much

As they would take me there

For I had to get home to my kids

To lighten their despair.

 

My eyes had gone in different ways

And it caused me to see double

It would get my scrambled brain confused

And cause all kinds of trouble.

 

By July’s end I prepared a meal

For the staff upon my floor

To prove that I could feed myself,

My kids and many more.

 

And then to all of their surprise

With a walker I was driven

And walked myself right out the door

Into the new life I was given.

 

Dealing with brain injury

Is never an easy chore

For Brandon took it harder than most

Because of what we’d had before.

 

He’s tried so hard to talk with me

But the words no longer there

Some days it’s hard to even speak

And to him it is not fair.

 

One day he bought a book for me

“To the one my virtue instilled

The power of knowledge inside of me

Will come back if it is willed.”

 

“You are all that holds you back!”

Is what he wrote to me

Just as I had said to him

For all of eternity.

 

As Courtney would always say

The hardest part in getting through

Was when they’d say, “I understand,

I know what you’re going through.”

 

She knew they didn’t really know

Or even understand

Like when she’d say, “My mom can do it!”

Then they’d laugh and pat her hand.

 

Now the toughest job for me to do

Is providing for my kids

This highly educated college girl

Suddenly hit the skids.

 

The one thing drunks don’t realize

Is how much they affect

The lives of those connected to

The ones that they impact.

 

I pulled myself out of this grave

To come home to my kids

I’m here and not about to leave

Begging God forbid!

 

All I ask of those who drink

Is to be responsible

And to think of all that you can take

By acting such a fool.

 

~Pamela K. Pfertsh

April 8, 2012

©April 10, 2012

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Our Founding Father

A droplet of water flows down through the sand

Giving life to a business through a wonderful man.

Jay Slifer’s a founder, a father, a friend

A gift to us all from God he was sent.

He started to build from each problem he solved

Each brick independent so it could not fall.

Held together by honesty, wisdom and pride

Breaking ground for tomorrow, his vision took flight.

This magical man, so perceptive and sharp

He gives without asking, he gives from his heart.

And to each fellow worker, he holds out his hand

And somehow they know that he understands.

He helped his employees year after year

He built admiration and respect from his peers.

Some feel what they’ve given is just not enough

For the life given them, the care and the trust.

He brought in his flowers to brighten each day

Gave Thanksgiving dinners to those who stayed late.

He opened the mail and read all he could

Applying his knowledge to all that he should.

He values each person and all that they do

And he listens to each of their ideas too.

He applies the “what if’s” as he thinks through the plight

Then gives his advice that was found through the night.

A visit with Jay is like a trip back in time

But his view for the future will leave you sublime.

A better person you are just for knowing the man

That passed down this great legacy to his son and our friend.

Bill’s nurtured this business, this family, this scheme

For without his great knowledge, not here would we be.

He carries this torch through the challenging times

And from its great light the solutions he finds.

And on this will pass some day to his own

The son of our future, with its needs he will grow.

As that flag waves so freely outside our front door

May we join with The Eagle in its flight as we soar.

~ Pamela K. Pfertsh

 

This is one of my more powerful poems especially for those who are healing from abuse or for those who yet need a light at the end of that dark tunnel in order to get out!  Remember to forgive yourself!  I hope this helps!

 

It opens a bit

And I peer inside

So frightening the site

I close it and hide

 

The years go on

But closed it won’t stay

I keep seeing more

And it won’t go away

 

A man comes along

And tells what he sees

He points out the stains

The torn threads at the seams

 

But what are they for

He asks so confused

My answer is marks

For I’ve been abused

 

No the stains on the outside

Why are they there

My answer is clearly

That life was unfair

 

But why not take it off

It’s not part of you now

For it’s only a suit

That you wear like a crown

 

Because I just can’t

For what will I do

I don’t know who I am

Without this old suit

 

I want all who see

To know where I’ve been

To feel sorry for me

And to be my friend

 

But they won’t want all this

They’ll want to have fun

They won’t want to hold you

And help you to run

 

But I don’t know what’s in there

For what will they see

If I open this up

And they see the real me

 

He pulls back the suit

And looks deep inside

A smile creeps up

His eyes full of pride

 

Fear churns in my stomach

At the site that I see

At this man full of pride

And he’s looking at me

 

I pull back the suit

And close it up tight

Don’t do that again

For you cause such a fright

 

The pain on his face

And the hurt in his eyes

But why can’t I see that

Every day of my life

 

Why can’t I have beauty

To walk next to me

Why must that old suit

Hide that which I see

 

I run to the corner

To hide in the dark

But the light creeps inside

Showing all those old marks

 

How ugly this is

This suit that I wear

I peel it back slowly

I sit and I stare

 

Time passes by

Not sure what to do

The man is still here

But my friends are so few

 

I sit and I wait

The fear all around me

The man he appears

Standing so proudly

 

I’m sorry for you

But I must leave you now

I need someone here

Who’s not afraid to come out

 

But I don’t want you to leave

I can’t do this alone

And neither can I

I can’t carry these stones

 

My eyes fill with tears

And as they roll down my face

I peel back the suit

And it lights up the space

 

This actually looks good

There’s light and there’s air

No darkness surrounds me

And I don’t feel so bare

 

I look up and he’s smiling

A tear in his eye

Now this gives me hope

For this I shall try

 

But to do this I need love

More than I see

A reassurance of the good

As I set myself free

 

The stains there so long

They are stuck to my skin

And the threads wound so deep

They’ve gone to within

 

His hand wraps in mine

Our tears turn to gold

So bright is the future

And all it beholds!

 

~Pamela K. Berkhiem

©October 25, 2010

The Memories

The memories of the ones we love

Linger through the years

The thought of that one special card

Can bring me back to tears.


The blessings were so plenty

With kids and grandkids too

Each time blueberry pie is served

My thoughts turn back to you.


Remembering the harvest times

Which gave us beets and corn

Bring pleasures of the simple life

To which our hearts were sworn.


The more complicated life would get

The more ‘simple’ things were found

Football games could be enjoyed

From home without the crowd.


Laughter added years to life

With crazy birthday dreams

And sayings that would tease the “boys”

Dance through our memories.


But Mother had to call you home

So God could ease your pain

Twelve years it had been, to the day

Since she last whispered your name.


~Pamela K. Berkhiem



This was made into book markers for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. – Pam

Dearly Beloved

Is what the minister had said

The day upon which

Tom and Betty were wed.

They vowed then to love,

Comfort and honor

For better, for worse,

For richer, for poorer.

In sickness and in health

Forsaking all others

They vowed to take care

Each one of the other.

Their rings were exchanged

For their undying love

And their continued renewal

Of their vows from above.

These rings made of gold

Brought them through fifty years

And all that they’ve shared

Are in their hearts and their tears.

~ Pamela K. Pfertsh

© June 28, 2008

 

 

 

As the darkness falls around them

They desperately need friends

Help from all the people

On whom they must depend.

They need all our donations

Not moneymaking schemes

To give them food and water

And to fulfill their basic needs.

I pray they will be blessed

As relief is sent their way

And that the persons needed

Can be with them each today.

And for those who haven’t answers

Of loved ones in the zone

May your tears soon fall on smiles

And their voices again be known.

As we reach into the darkness

And grab them by the hands

May we lead them to the sunrise

Of their sorrow’s end.

~ Pamela K. Berkhiem