Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Box for Goodwill

A Box for Goodwill

As a friend, I had come to help
yet one more time
and I watched as she set 
the cardboard box on the floor.
It was labeled for Goodwill, 
penned in large block letters.

From deep in the closet, 
she brought out an old blue suit.
It had faded over the years, 
but I saw in her eyes
the memories still had not.

Softly, she smoothed the sleeves 
that dangled flat and empty.
Then she stroked the slack trousers
on the smooth wooden hanger.

Gently, she brushed 
the dust from the collar and lapel, 
and then I heard her sigh.
Her resolve had melted away.
Again we talked and remembered.

We spoke of long ago, 
how the sleeves encircled her
in warm secure hugs, 
and the trousers had covered 
lean muscular legs, 
legs slightly bowed, 
legs that loved to dance, 
and what she missed the most
--the heart that beat below
the lapel of the old blue suit, 
the heart that beat with love for her.

For over forty years, 
the suit had stood sentinel, 
loyally guarding both her
and those memories, 
and I watched as she carefully
replaced the suit and closed
the closet door.

Through quiet tears
she asked once more
how all of that could ever fit
in a box for Goodwill. 

[From CJ's Book, "Anatomy of a Poet"]


"I have only recently become aware of this author and her work and am amazed not only with the diversity in her writings but also the resiliency she has exhibited over her lifetime. One fine author and a magnificent lady. I highly recommend this book with its compilation of meaningful and thought provoking poetry.~Tom C.

"I would recommend this book to all lovers of poetry and, especially, to those who think they are not."
~Mrs. C. I. Campbell

"Heck is very sensual, very honest, and writes in a very lucid manner. I find in myself [with most poetry] an impatience, "Oh for crying out loud, just say it," leading to lassitude and eventual cerebral failure. Not so with this work, her raw emotions and sensuality had my attention. I believe this is the only poetry book that I ever finished." ~Henry Le Nav

"In the pages of this book, you will find powerful, thought-provoking, sensual , and beautifully written poetry from the heart." ~Susan L. Parkins

"I just finished reading C.J.Heck's, book last night and enjoyed it very much. She definitely has a way with words, that will make you laugh and cry, and feel things deeply. She writes from her heart and soul, and her words will definitely make a lasting impression." ~Rebecca Carden

"Totally open and honestly expressed in a variety of poetic styles, each matched to her emotions of the moment. A damn good and honest work." ~John David Lionel Brooke

"I came away from reading this book, the first time, with a peace about my life and how I have lived it. I keep going back and rereading parts of it ... and then rereading the whole section. I better understand the lessons I have been taught and have more faith about the path I am following. A whole lot for a little book to accomplish." ~MaryAnn

"This book has the most amazing and true feelings I have read. She put into words what most of us are afraid to put in writing." ~Margie

"A truly wonderful read, that I recommend highly! You won't be disappointed." ~Joyce Bowling

"Here we have a collection of poems by a woman who writes from the heart ... The headline poem, `Anatomy of a Poet' fulfills the writerly code to go into scary places or don't go at all. "The poet, the woman, the me." completes the poem, throwing back the covers in a heated final exposure. Heck's reference in her signature poem is good advice for any aspiring poet: "swirling eddies, some without rhyme," often come across better than stylized word searching or stretching for rhyme ever could.

...`Anatomy of a Poet' may have been written by a children's book author, but it's poetry for grownups."
~Byron Edgington [Author of The Sky Behind Me: A Memoir of Flying & Life]

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