Saturday, April 15, 2017

NPM 2017 Day Fifteen: A Parting Guest

For National Poetry Month this year I am sharing poetry that celebrates my late sister-in-law and what it means to be human. These daily posts focus on traits that Pam exudedempathy, kindness, caring, friendship, gentleness and love.


Pam was the most gracious host. Guests would descend and wreak havoc in her ordered world, yet she didn't bat an eye. I would have been off in a corner pulling my hair out, but Pam simply smiled through it all. She offered everything she had and more to make her guests comfortable and at home.

A Parting Guest
by James Whitcomb Riley

What delightful hosts are they --
 Life and Love!
Lingeringly I turn away,
 This late hour, yet glad enough
They have not withheld from me
 Their high hospitality.

So, with face lit with delight
 And all gratitude, I stay
 Yet to press their hands and say,
 -- So fine a time! Good night."

I'll leave you today with this parting shot.
True hospitality is marked by an open response to the dignity of each and every person. Henri Nouwen has described it as receiving the stranger on his own terms, and asserts that it can be offered only by those who 'have found the center of their lives in their own hearts'. ― Kathleen Norris, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography
Thank you for reading. I hope to see you here again tomorrow.


  1. Such powerful feeling expressed in these two short pieces, Tricia - thank you for sharing both. We should all strive to embody the characteristics in them. Pam must have been so very special; warmest thoughts and prayers as your family continues to miss her.

  2. What a lovely poem - learning to let go with gratitude is... tough. But oh, what a thing to which to aspire.