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Our Barefoot Contessa - Senryu

by Tony Whitaker

Hated wearing shoes
Even barefoot when she died
And Sinatra cried

09/05/2009

Author's Note: Ava Gardner was from my home state of North Carolina where I have lived most my life. Her signature film "The Barefoot Contessa" mirrored her real life in that always went barefoot. At heart she was happiest being that independent, but down-to-earth, country girl and why Frank Sinatra loved her so. When she died Frank, was found by his daughter, "slumped in a chair, crying and unable to speak". Theirs was a true love story. Reportedly, a lone black limousine parked behind the crowd of 500 mourners at Ava's funeral in her hometown of Smithfield, NC. No one exited the vehicle, but it was assumed that the anonymous mourner was indeed Frank Sinatra. A floral arrangement at Gardner's graveside simply read: "With My Love, Francis".

Posted on 09/05/2009
Copyright © 2021 Tony Whitaker

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Clara Mae Gregory on 09/05/09 at 02:08 AM

Simply sweet. (I am another "barefooter" myself) Wasn't her actual hometown Smithfield? My husbands relatives live in Angier, Raleigh and Smithfield and I have heard many stories of Ava too.

Posted by Charlie Morgan on 09/05/09 at 02:44 PM

...tony, this is too cool...what a proper Kow-tow...grins.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 09/07/09 at 03:01 PM

Ava Gardner reminds me of my bride in a lot of ways, especially in her looks. She had a earthiness about her. I guess this may be one reason she and old blue eyes clicked. So much in this little senryu. Thanks too for the author's note. It made the experience of reading the poem fuller.

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