Saturday, June 10, 2023

A Mother's Song at Twilight and Other Works

In celebration of her life, a short collection of Mary's stories is now available in e-book form. If you'd like to read the collection, please click the image below and download the linked PDF.

Mary Kinsel's Celebration of Life

Sunday, May 20, 2018


I didn't say it, but I loved you even then.
I loved you when you were smoke-stacked and sooty,
When they laughed at you, hurt our feelings.
Hell with the lid off, they called you.
A shot-and-a-beer town, more joke than city,
Dark at noon, your street lights on,
We mumbled when asked where we were from.
I loved you even then.

But then was then and now is now.
Once we trudged, now we glide.
We always knew we had it in us.
Now on a sunlit day, we delight in your beauty,
Houses peppered on tall, treed hills,
At night, we glory in a golden city,
Your lights reflected in three sparkling rivers.
Hey, world! Who's laughing now?

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Photo Better Left Untaken

Just beyond where California lies,

The two of them sit side-by-side

As the jet roars through dark skies

On its way to Hawaii's sun and fun.

But uncalled-for anger blights the flight

And they fight.

Yet true affection doesn't keep score,

And the next day on Maui's shore,

That tropical paradise

Mesmerizes and fills their eyes

With love for each other

As before.

Now just suppose the camera of life

Had recorded their brief strife,

Only to wait a lifetime of years

And then out of the blue

Had flashed back to that earlier view,

Reviving bitterness and tears.

No, better by far

That some of life's photos 

Be not taken

So that love remains unshaken

And the heart, once healed,

From past hurt is sealed.

Friday, April 7, 2017


Assignment: Write a metaphor

Tile by tile, day by day,
Some chosen, some god-wrought.
Love of loyal mate,
Delight of four children at play.
Petty hurts and wrenching deaths.
Joys and sorrows in all their breadth.
Would I change some, even one, if I could?
Probably not.

Monday, November 7, 2016


Young and untrained, we didn't know it then

That our lives' very fulfillment was to begin.

How we worried about them, loved them 

Even as now and yet we do.

Please keep them safe, we prayed.

Give them joy among their tears.

Let them grow up moral and good, we said,

Which they did.

Now, looking back, he and I know 

We needn't have worried so.

There is no wrong way to go.

Only love. 

We sit and remember and reminisce

And marvel how in them and in their offspring we see

Rebirth of kin – parents, grandparents, even of him and me.

A legacy.

Monday, October 31, 2016


Who he was he always knew.
Where he wanted to go, he knew too.
One day a long time past,
To pretty Miss Adele he asked,
“Yes or No?”

“Yes or no, what?” asked she.
“Yes or no, will you marry me?”
She said “Yes”,
So then and there
Began a lifelong love affair.

Forty-some years passed
When from his hospital bed he asked,
“Take me home?” But she could not.
He died, and for lonely years she lived on,
Half a person, severed from the whole.

All his days, he knew exactly who he was,
Ever confident, but never vain.
To his daughters three he left a legacy
The gift he left his daughters three
Was a lesson by example, not word.
To his daughters three he left a legacy,
A lesson by example, not word.
He was Joe. The good Joe.