Sunday, April 5, 2020

Poetry: For Marion Higley

For Marion Higley

Light-filled woman, she,
College-taught and Bishop’s wife,
Baptized on a worn, porcelain-metal table
In a plank house on the edge of pine woods.
Woman of tenderness, she,
Washing sand from the sun-warmed limbs of
Three fair daughters and a wheaten-haired baby son,
With hand-pumped well-water in a porcelain sink-basin,
While scented sun motes danced around their heads,
And laughter floated out across the rippling lake.


Woman of faith, she,
Doting on a husband, briefly freed from his clerical collar’s weight,
Dozing in flannel, in a worn Adirondack chair, rocking peacefully,
Upon the beloved timbered porch.
Woman of diligence, she,
Wringing hand-washed clothes to hang with wooden clothespins,
On twisted rope lines, from tree to tree,
And ringing the dinner bell at dusk, to gather her chicks together.
Woman of words, she,
Stealing quiet minutes to write in her journals,
With illuminating lines filled with the poetry of nature and grace,
The chronicle of a life lived well,
And guiding it, an abiding love of God, transcending all.

Author’s note: This poem is dedicated to my mother-in-law. My father-in-law , Walter Higley, was the Episcopal Bishop of Central New York, and Marion was his strength. They originally purchased the Higley family Camp at Limekiln Lake, Inlet in the ’50s,  and it remains the entire family’s beloved “heart-home.”

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.

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Annette Pisano-Higley is a Registered Nurse living in both Albany and Florida. She is a published song-lyricist and published a book of her original Adirondack poetry, with photography by her husband Walter Higley, Adirondack Echoes, available on Amazon.com. Annette’s book was inspired by their idyllic summers at the beloved family Camp on Limekiln Lake, Inlet, in the beautiful New York State Adirondack Park.


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11 Responses

  1. Andy Hahn says:

    Beautiful. Thanks.

  2. Jim Leach says:

    Like a visit to the Lake this Sunday morning. Thank you, Annette.

    • Annette Pisano-Higley says:

      Hi Jim and thanks so much for your read and beautiful words. I hope we see each other at the lake whenever this current crisis safely frees us. Probably not this summer though. On a brighter note – Happy Palm Sunday is wished by us to you and yours! Xoxo
      So, I’m glad to still be able to have poetry published here on The Almanack. My sincere thanks go out to John Warren, once again, for all of his kindness and help to me through the years. And additionally, I thank Melissa, the new editor here, for seeing something worthwhile in my writing.
      We writers tend to avoid politics as much as possible, I think- there is no beauty to be found there. We just want to write of our beloved Adirondacks, our lives, families and friends there- to give them the honor they truly deserve.

  3. George Nagle says:

    Thank you for this. It brought back fond memories of the years I served under Bishop Higley and came to know and cherish him and his wife. Once, being a wiseass, upon their return from a trip to Europe, I asked if in Paris they went to the Folies Bergere. Marion immediately replied, I never knew bodies could be so beautiful.

  4. Annette Pisano-Higley says:

    Hello Andy and thank you so much for your read and kind words.:))

    • Annette Pisano-Higley says:

      So sorry that the wrong reply was posted here George! Some glitch I guess, or just me being discombobulated. I will re-post in the proper place now!

  5. George Nagle says:

    Thank you for this. I served under Bishop Higley and came to know and cherish him and Marion.

    • Annette Pisano-Higley says:

      Hello again George, and thank you so much for your read, and your lovely, priceless share about Marion Higley! I will show it to my husband, Walter Maydole 2nd, and the rest of our family immediately. Marion wrote amazing poetry and kept beautiful personal journals- she was quite the gentle, tender, prolific, authentic writer herself. She wrote with empathy and great humor. I’ve been so priviledged to be able to read and learn about her from them. (I so regret that both Marion and Bishop Walter passed on before I had a chance to actually meet them.) Yes, I can easily see her parrying your question with a response of grace and humor! Hmmm..the Folies Bergere-(made me smile). What a blessed, magnificent, humble, compassionate, loving and joyous couple they were. They set a grand example for us all. Thank you again for helping me to remember them so personally! I wish a wonderful Palm Sunday to you and yours.

  6. Susan Christy says:

    Bless you, Annette. Maud and Dodie would have loved your words.
    Stay safe.

    • Annette Pisano- Higley says:

      Hello Susan- so good to hear from you! Hope you and yours are all well. We are in Florida and doing ok, all considering. Won’t be back to NY, or Camp, for awhile unfortunately. Thank you so much for reading and leaving those kind, personal words. I miss them both. Happy Palm Sunday to you and yours, and God bless you all.

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