Ode to Orene

William B. Wetherall

25 March 2007

In every rose I see her radiant face,
Her voice finds home in every songbird's trill,
Her fulsome life was graced with lavender and lace,
Her faith and love did all my dreams fulfill.
I feel her warmth in every autumn ray,
Her lilting laughter lingers in my ears,
Though darker days at times her joy betrayed;
My cheeks are wet with the anguish of her tears.
My earthbound life lay barren from the day
Her tired and aimless hand went limp in mine
And silently her spirit slipped away
To dwell forever in a special mode divine.
She kneels beside me now in every prayer:
A prayer that if our eyes again shall meet
In another land, we shall once more dare
To blend our souls, our cherished vows repeat.
         Again we shall stroll, with her hand in mine,
         Through the fragrant meadow of our love sublime.




William B. Wetherall composed "Ode to Orene" at his home in Grass Valley, California. He completed the poem on 25 March 2007, his 96th birthday, and he gave me a copy when I (his son WOW) arrived during my annual spring visit in early April.


I have presented the original typescript of the poem as received, except that I have restylized the title (WBW wrote ODE TO ORENE), added a by-line (WBW did not write one), and shown the completion date after the by-line (WBW wrote the date by hand at the bottom as shown).


WBW sometimes fished a book of poetry off a shelf in his modest living-room library to revisit a favorite song, sometimes a sonnet. He knew what one was. He'd studied them in school and written a few in his time. He knew that a sonnet had 14 lines, usually written in iambic pentameter in three quatrains and a couplet with an a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g rhyme scheme. He admitted his sonnet had an extra quatrain but invoked poetic license.