1. Young-Mason, Jeanine EdD, RN, CS, FAAN

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Words in My Life


Some words were spoken loud and clear


For people far and near -


Perhaps for all the world to hear.


Some words were spoken soft and low


In sotto pianissimo -


So that the chosen few might know.


Some words were never spoken. Yet


They are hardest to forget.


-Martha Eckman Schaub*


Here, in these quiet simple words, is a profound message that goes straight to the heart of the reader. And I might add spoken, this poem instantly becomes memory. For who, in this deeply painful time in America, cannot say that there is regret, a deep sorrow for all the things one did not or could not say to a gravely ill, dying relative, friend, colleague. Conversely, there are words never spoken that could have recognized an essential truth, a justice that needed to be expressed out loud. "Words In My Life" is a palpable revelation. It takes no analysis but speaks directly to our hearts from the heart of the poet. It has the power of compassion that can change a life.


* Martha Eckman Schaub (1919-2005) first published as a young girl in Chicago. She relocated to the South Shore of Massachusetts with her husband, where they raised 7 children. Martha was a lifelong champion in causes of social justice, marching for the rights of unions, campaigning for prison reform and active in the Civil Rights Movement. She served on the board of the Congress of Racial Equality in Roxbury, Massachusetts. While administrative assistant to her local church for 30 years, Martha wrote and directed several dozen plays for their benefit, published poems and essays in a number of periodicals and magazines. [Context Link]


The Stones Cry Out, a collection of poems by Martha Eckman Schaub.


Published by Margaret Schaub Severson. 2003. Alexandria, Virginia.