On the Stump


On the Stump

Hobbling around on the stump of a life,
nobody’s lover and nobody’s wife,
her children and grandchildren all raised and grown,
out of her life and out on their own.

Is her life over? Is it near its ending,
or has she another life that is just pending?
Has she a talent for regeneration?
Is the first sixty years mere education?

A single shoe dropped is only one shoe.
Life isn’t over until it is through.
Perhaps she’s less active removed from the past,
but wind can still fill out a sail at half mast.

The stub of a life can still get us around.
A heart can still beat and the blood can still pound.
Go after adventure for all you are worth,
for every new day is a part of your birth.


The prompt word today was “stump,” and I must admit it nearly stumped me. Lately my poems have degenerated into moralistic little lesson-rhymes. I may seem to be up on the stump, but it it is not my intention to preach as it is mainly myself I’m trying to advise. If you want to listen in, you are most welcome.




24 thoughts on “On the Stump

      1. lifelessons Post author

        I think the phrase “up the stump” must be tantamount to being in trouble, even as it alludes to pregnancy.. and perhaps that spread to a general description of being pregnant.


  1. Marilyn Armstrong

    I want to say this about that. Life AFTER kids was a lot of fun. Being a young mommy was good and I enjoyed it … but being older and working without worrying about dealing with childcare providers and getting kids up and on the school bus … that was even better.


    1. lifelessons Post author

      I was really talking more about women in their sixties and seventies.. which is why I included the grandkids being raised. As I stated in the notes, this is something I’m mainly saying to myself as I consider whether I have the oomph to keep growing and changing (and traveling) or whether I want to settle in and just be comfortable.


  2. Christine Goodnough

    I found your little poem inspiring. I guess there are days when I feel like all the good years are gone and I’m only half here anymore — then it’s nice to be reminded that I shouldn’t abandon all hope.

    As far as “on the stump”, well, I’ve been a Canadian all my life and never heard that expression. From the dates given in the reference, it appears this usage is quite a bit newer than I am, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Linda Crosfield

      It’s “up the stump”, not “on”. It was used when I was in school (in BC) and I just had my 50-year reunion, so it’s not new. More regional, apparently. And, full disclosure here, I asked my sister if she knew it, and she said no. But she’s 10 years younger than I am. I’m kind of sorry I brought it up as talking about it took away from a discussion about Judy’s very fine poem.

      Liked by 1 person


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