Looking for Nancy Emily

Written by: E. Pearl Anderson

Unhooking the chain 
I opened the rusty gates
to Olive Branch Cemetery
Hallowed ground of yesteryear
Peaceful as the name sounds.
There is a place of comfort sweet
Near to the heart of God
A place where we our Savior meet
Near to the heart of God
Like a white butterfly fluttering from 
One headstone to another headstone
where sweet clover blossoms rested their heads
protecting the ancestors of long ago—
Stopping by each one 
I gently touch and wonder
Standing on rolling hills of countryside
Six-foot tall or five-foot short
giants of the soil
English honest proud
farmers tilling the land 
children by their side helping
with French heritage mother 
 who listened to the tears,
cooked meals, washed clothes
lesser than the men but carried on.
Walking in time  thinking, then
      Seeing it!
I lifted up Nancy Emily’s initialed stone
N E P lying on the ground 
young farm girl no state aid 
rocking her baby boy
For when my heart is troubled, filled with fear,
Jesus whispers peace
Young lad gladdening saddened family hearts.
I wonder her pain kept a secret
Until descendants began to unearth
digging deeper than her simple grave

Nancy Emily, rest well knowing
your descendants are bright and fruitful
healing the sick 
      teaching children 
           keeping the law
    at home and afar raising children to become.
Whispering hope, O how welcome thy voice,
Making my heart in its sorrows rejoice
Oh! Family of long ago
toiling planting reaping caring
lying now on former fields
with mottled stones announcing your place.
N E P stands upright.
Feeling like a mighty oak tree 
faithful and fulfilled,
I leave
fastening tight the rusty gates—
past secured for future