Poetry by Gretchen VanOstrand

For Vern

the night he tried to teach us Philadelphia Rummy
the good reverend and I became wannabe card sharks
oh did he love a good game like I do
his inventive (cheating!) Scattegories answers
always hilarious yet never *really* wrong
somehow he managed to persuade us
I believe! Yes, Lord, I believe.
of course he could sell God to an atheist
he just couldn’t sell himself on retirement.
the cancer that ravaged his throat
never stopped him from talking
or eating chocolate ice cream (2 bowls!)
or preaching a sermon on Sunday for no pay
Love is patient and love is kind and
he showed me the love of Christ
Because he lived it everyday
( 1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
yeah, God needed him more than we did
he’s with Jesus now we should be happy
I just hope there’s rummy players and
chocolate ice cream in Heaven


About Gretchen VanOstrand

Gretchen VanOstrand lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with her husband, cats, and numerous house spirits. She likes bluegrass music, sports, the Baltimore Ravens, biking, and sleeping late. She has been published recently in Poetry Super Highway, Requiem, and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature.