Miss Ruby, came over for tea today
with a gift of blueberry jam.
The servant Grace met her at the door
said, “This way if you please ma’am.”
As they entered the front room parlor;
Miss Ruby’s eyes peered every where.
Grace thought she favored an old owl
as she craned her neck to stare.
Mrs. Winters finally entered the parlor
they exchanged their ‘ how-do-you-do’s.’
She asked Ruby, “How many sugars Dear.”
Miss Ruby replied ,”Only two.”
Grace scurried out with the tea-tray
and retired out in the hall.
So she could rest with one ear cocked
in case Mrs. Winters should call.
Of course Gracie could not help
but overhear as they began to speak.
Miss Ruby had so much to tell and re-tell
on this the third day of the week.
There was breaking news of the Widow Brown
who was caught in Messner’s store.
In her coat she had two pork roasts
in her pocket-book she had more.
Then of course the story of the Smith girl
the one who was sent away.
One would think they’d have avoided
such a thing; in these modern days.
Miss Ruby groaned as she shifted her weight
whispered, “surely you’ve heard the tale;
of the Deacon James Adams and family
leaving town when the stock markets fell.”
She fanned with this week’s church bulletin
she asked, “Tell me what do you think,
of our new Pastor and the Deacon Board
renting out the town skating rink?
Why it seems such a waste in my mind
you reach young folks while in class.
I’ll remember this waste the next time;
that offering basket is passed.”
There was quiet for the space of one minute
as Ruby took a sip of her tea.
Glancing up at poor Mrs. Winters spoke,
“Seems the only one talking is me.”
Mrs. Winters toyed with the scarf at her neck
and carefully thought her words through.
She sipped at her tea looked at Ruby and spoke
“Dear, I simply must talk to you;
I have been sitting here listening
seems your life is empty at best.
You have been here for over an hour
and have not given your tongue a rest.
Yet you never speak of your own life
just gossip of other souls pain.
Ruby, it breaks the Great Father’s heart Dear,
that your gossiping go’s unrestrained.
If you had sat down at the Father’s feet
and shared these ‘concerns’ with Him;
you’d have more to share than a church bulletin
to tell folks where you have been.
You would carry the glorious Light of His love
reflected in your dear face.
And instead of this gossip and malice Dear,
your heart would be full of His grace.”
Mrs. Winters then picked up her tea-cup
took a sip and gave Ruby some space.
She surmised she had wasted her breath and her words
by the look on Miss Ruby’s face.
Ruby rose and said, “I would thank you,
for the tea and cake this afternoon.
I must hurry or I’ll miss my appointment
for tea with Wilhelmina Bethune.”
So as Ruby raced down the side-walk
Mrs. Winters leaned back for a rest.
Called Gracie to come clear the tea set
and bore Ruby to the Great Father’s breast.