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Two Tammy’s, One First Lady, and a Leader Dog

April 25, 2018


NOTE:  In this final post of National Poetry Month, 2018, I challenge you to take an event or more than one event from today’s news or the week’s news; then, use the happening(s) or person(s) to create a poem.  I have chosen to take three events or news stories from the past week and add a couple of personal touches for the poem which I share with you in this WORDWALK post.  Whether in prose or poetry, I do like to bring together a few happenings for which I find a common bond to meld the story or poem together.


If not this type of poem, try another type because only five days remain of National Poetry Month.  Remember the words on the poetry marquee:


Read a poem!  Write a poem!  Share a poem!


* * *


Two Tammy’s, One First Lady, and a Leader Dog:

One Week in April


a poem by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



Six decades ago,

we, at age seven,

were singing “Tammy,”

along with the talented star Debbie Reynolds,

from the 1957 movie Tammy and the Bachelor.

How life has changed in these 61 years!


The Tammy of April 17, 2018–

Tammy Jo Schultz,

a former Navy pilot

and current hero and captain

of Flight 1380–

descended to a safe landing

on the day that First Lady Barbara Bush

was ascending into Heaven.


Two days later,

another Tammy of April 19, 2018–

Senator Tammy Duckworth–

was the first lady

to bring her infant

on the floor of the U. S. Senate.

While ten-day-old baby Maile Pearl slept,

Senator Duckworth of Illinois

cast her vote

on the Senate floor

and then returned to maternity leave.

Already a Black Hawk helicopter pilot,

an Iraq War veteran with a Purple Heart,

a hero before being elected

a United States Senator–

this Tammy and her daughter

leave us with

a smiling historic moment.


From a baby named Pearl

to the First Lady known

for wearing pearls,

I do wonder,

“Wouldn’t First Lady Barbara Bush

have been proud of these two Tammy’s?”

I think the First Lady would have embraced them

and given Maile Pearl a book or two.


Two days after the Senator and her daughter

made history in the Capitol Building,

1500 guests and a nation of viewers

memorialized the 92-year life

of First Lady Barbara Bush.

The news coverage and funeral

reminded us of her

indomitable strength and spirit,

humor and wit,

dedication to literacy,

service to good causes and country,

devotion to a loving family,

books and speeches that were as treasured

as was she.


Two days later,

to end a noteworthy week,

I remembered my own personal hero–

my third Leader Dog, Zoe–

who would have been eleven

on this April 23, 2018,

if she had not left us too early,

if she were not already running in Heaven.

Oh, how she left us so early!

Dear “spirit dog” of my heart and soul,

so long, again, so long.

The memories of Zoe

make my strand of pearls.


Throughout this historic week,

the air was filled with heroes

to whom I would gladly give

blue ribbons of admiration

with pearls of thanks and a standing ovation.



May this month of April close with happiness and good health for you and yours!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


April 25, 2018, Wednesday



From → Uncategorized

  1. Beautiful and thoughtful words about three remarkable women and one very special canine, Alice! Thank you for always creating interesting, unique ways to share your observations. I have enjoyed your writings during this National Poetry month of April.
    Wishing you and Willow a merry month of May!
    With love,

    • Hi, Mary–What a special comment!  Many thanks!  I thought you would write about the poetry which you shared with your little students on Monday and Tuesday.

      Talk with you soon–Alice and Willow

  2. Sue McKendry permalink

    Alice–Although I’m not up to your challenge, I did enjoy all of your posts during April. This last post was especially meaningful in the way you connected all of the elements . I was also an admirer of Barbara Bush. So nice how it all tied together with two current heroines as well as the remembrance of Zoe–Sue

    • Sue–Many thanks for your especially nice comment!  A friend from Missouri e-mailed me a comment that her first guide dog was named Tammy.  Guess what song my friend used to sing to this guide dog! What a coincidence!  Having had guide dogs since 1968, she is completing the writing of a book about her fifty years of working with guide dogs.  I am eager to read this book, and I imagine you might be interested in this book also.

      With our gratitude, Alice and Willow

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