Memories Linger of the Holidays


The Dowager

by Rita Yager


With insistence on formality

at family gatherings

let us remain civil

even if it’s a lie


through gritted teeth

until our faces hurt

laugh while holding down

the sour in our throats

enjoy a stiff hug

yes, let us remain cordial

please serve mine chilled

my preference is iced



Rita Yager of Illinois began submitting her poetry for publication in 2018 after being a creative writer for more than 50 years. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother, and recently retired from nursing, spending 36 years with an area hospital system. During her nursing career, she worked in many medical specialty clinics. In particular,  she loves caring for and teaching special needs people. Due to her professional background, she says her message in much of her creative writing involves suffering, survival, and healing, and the need for inclusion. She believes her writing is a visual vehicle for people of all ages to realize they are not alone.


She has written and published medical research through the Society of Teachers in Family Medicine with the Family Medicine Department of Glenbrook Hospital. She was a clinical nurse educator assisting in the teaching of medical students and residents of the University of Chicago. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s in Health Services Management, the latter from Webster University.

About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. I recently received an Official Commendation from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of five non-fiction books: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; and Your Original Personal Ad. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. I have won forty-seven poetry awards, writing twelve poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
This entry was posted in Beginning Writers, Holidays, Poetry, Relatives, Rita Yager and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Memories Linger of the Holidays

  1. I like this poem and a different direction is refreshing😇

  2. Mary Kendall says:

    I’d love to see more of her work.

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