McNair to Hall: December 3, 1982

Letter from McNair to Hall, December 3, 1982, Page 1, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire

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December 3, 1982
Dear Don,

Here is another one for your collection.
If it seems worthy, please pass it on
to Joey.

And please tell Joey the reason
the tea is not helping his headaches
is that it’s ginger tea he should
be drinking, not the regular.




Bernice Manchester,
who exchanged the veil
for an apron, and wore it
on Frank’s farm for fifty years,
closing it each long summer
around hot canning racks,
each winter around reluctant
lids of jam,

who tied herself back
into it after bearing
each of his children,
and grew old lacing herself
into her black shoes
and walking to the same
places, stove, dining room
and chickenhouse,

who marched right through
five decades with string beans
and bread and apple pie
for his hired men, who carried
him eggs for breakfast
through the great hurricane
and windstorms no one knew
about within,

lay apronless at the end
beside the pink flush
toilet Frank installed,
and with a far-off look
announced that in her final
rest, she wished
to lie by him,
the salesman

everyone but Bernice had forgot
died just after she married him,
at seventeen.

-Wesley McNair