In the April 23 edition of the Herald Democrat, on page 21, the family of Gilbert Trujillo submitted a poem in his memory to mark his birthday. With no disrespect to the Trujillo family in their grief and memory, and pleased to know that this poem blesses their hearts, I wish to note that the poem they selected is titled “Afterglow.” It was written by my late grandmother, Helen Lowrie Marshall, and is protected under copyright.
Whenever I see my grandmother’s works published without authorship recognition, and with the words altered, I am saddened. I do not fault the Trujillo family. It is “out there,” and often without credit to her name (sometimes, even claimed to be written by someone else). My grandmother wrote hundreds of poems, published 11 books, and recorded her books for the blind, with several translated into Braille. Her poems were featured on 23 million Hallmark cards and gift booklets.
It means a lot to me and my family that 45 years after her death, my Grammer’s poem, “Afterglow” is still touching people in their grief. I simply want to preserve the credit due to her name for her gift of words. With that, I wish to submit the poem in her original words, without the alteration previously published in this paper:
by Helen Lowrie Marshall
I’d like the memory of me
To be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow
Of smiles when day is done.
I’d like to leave an echo
whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times
And bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those to grieve
To dry before the sun
Of happy memories I leave
Behind — when day is done.
The Rev. Peggy Marshall
First Presbyterian Church of Leadville