It was 1953 and a young Dongieux Foster was in the 10th grade. He had decided he just did not have time for any further formal education, for he had places to go and worlds to conquer. He also believed he had nothing to offer.
He dropped out of school and went to work with the Mississippi State Forestry Commission as a fire fighter making $68 a month.
Thankfully, Superintendent D. K. McInnis believed young Foster had a lot to offer and visited him the following summer with an interesting proposition.
McInnis told Foster that he would allow him to return to school as an 11th grader, and if Foster would apply himself he would let the unfinished 10th grade year be forgotten. Foster accepted the challenge and graduated in 1955.
It was during this time that Foster wrote the following poem, To Smell a Rose. It was written about the first real love of Foster’s life, even though the girl never knew it. (Undoubtedly she influenced his decision to return to school just as much as Superintendent McInnis.)
TO SMELL A ROSE
by Dongieux Foster
I opened my eyes this early spring morn
to the smell of fresh brewed coffee
I opened the door to the world outside
and heard the birds singing in the tree
I felt the cool breeze across my cheek
see the jonquils blooming under the tree
as GOD’S creation seemed to come to life
HIS love and care was there for all to see
I smell the sweet nectar of the honeysuckle
as the humming birds ended their long journey
the bees were buzzing from flower to flower
gathering whats needed to make their sweet honey
The pear stood Like a bride on her wedding day
the mulberry was filled with its tiny berries
the tree blooming at the edge of the yard
would soon be full of its wild sweet cherries
The breath of spring gliding through my hair
and the damp grass made my shoes look new
then I saw standing alone a red red rose
its outstretched petals covered with dew
as the rays of sunlight touched the petals
a more beautiful picture has never been seen
the dew sparkled like a thousand diamonds
spread across a smooth soft velvet screen
Standing to lift the souls of a weary world
to heal the broken heart of a sad lonely child
and bind together those that have drifted apart
and bring to the heart of new lovers a smile
and as the velvet petals touched my waiting lips
the soft and tender touch brought visions of you
and as the droplets of dew wet my quivering lips
the heavens opened and I kissed an angel true
This is the fourth poem in a series that 85-year-old Dongieux Foster of Satartia has allowed us to share with our readers.