Poetry

Hometown

I’ve always lived in my hometown, as a young girl my plans were to leave for a more exciting pasture.  But alas, I fell in love, married young, had a few babies, who have now flown the nest.  They search for exciting pastures of their own.  Though they left us with instructions that we are to never move,  even from this old house.  Now we find ourselves the keepers of home, for them.

I am reminded of words that my Dad spoke often to those he loved, who were longing to leave.  “Go, see the world, just remember, you can always come home.”  

Hometown

I know its streets,

T\the curves, the bricks,

the crumbling ones by railroad tracks.

 

I know its buildings,

the ones falling in piece by piece,

the hopeful ones, being made new.

 

I know its fountain,

the one in central park,

that calls out for children to come and dangle their feet.

 

I know the places that hold treasure,

the coffee shop that pours liquid gold,

the place that smells of books and wood.

 

I know its people,

the familiar bank teller,

who seeing my sorrow, cupped my hands in hers

 

The grandfather who walks in the mornings,

once cradling a bundle,

now steadies the back of a of a pink bicycle.

 

The young man, I silently cheered on,

as he lumbered along Main Street,

now runs.

 

The mother in the electric wheelchair,

who waits at the bus stop,

in the sun, the rain, the snow.

 

It is a place where life is lived,

smiles are shared,

and shoulders rub.

 

Were dreams vanish, like paint fading in the sun,

yet hope can be found around the next corner.

 

I know the place of the white birch,

where the seasons change, each beautiful one.

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Poetry

A Song of Sorrow

Lament is a gift.  A place where we find sweet relief in tears.  When our tears subside we have that brief moment of looking up.  We take a breath in that holy place, where our trust is renewed in Him once again.

A Song of Sorrow

 I opened my eyes, I saw.

I cannot, I will not, unsee.

I see them…

Skin over small bones,

as parents, watch in helpless horror.

Women bleeding on a bales of hay,

believing their blood is a curse.

The persecuted, bound and tortured,

their lives taken, while silence reigns.

Bodies of babes, washed up on shores,

sand clings to fingers, that once circled a mother’s.

 

I turn my eyes away,  I look up.

 

I cry to God and heaven,

as my song of sorrow soars.

I feel the light on my face,

and the darkness at my back.

 

In the stillness he is near.

In the stillness I trust.

In the stillness I look down.

 

There, I see my hands, my feet.

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Poetry

Brave Boy

A little boy comes to the neighbor next door on Saturday mornings, at first listen you would be tempted to think he is a brat. My old girl and I know differently, and we wait for him with delight.  

Brave Boy 

He comes each Saturday morning

to the neighbor’s house next door,

this brazen boy of wonder.

 

Once the car door opens,

his insistent voice

commands the air.

 

He battles imaginary monsters.

Holding sticks and stones,

in cupped hands.

 

Curtains flutter in the open window,

the old girl’s nose quivers against the screen.

She watches him, breathing him in.

 

He begins happy,

laughing, running, stomping, yelling,

she and I know it will not last long.

 

Old girl whimpers at the window

with knowing,

her brows set in worried frown.

 

A bee sting, a fall, a frustration

His cries will come on cue.

She and I sand, silhouettes in the window,

breathing sighs of relief, when brave boy runs once again.

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Poetry

An Open Window

I have had my eyes open to daily delights these past months.  They lift my spirits, change my perspective and stir hope.  May we open our eyes friends, to the sounds, the smells, the sights all around us and then simply give thanks, to the Maker of it all.

An Open Window

The window sits wide open,

curtains ruffle in the wind.

The breath of life is slowly drifting in.

 

The fluttering of wings,

joins chorus of a calling crow,

beating in time with chirps and coos.

 

The crackling of moving tires

A train horn far in the distance,

the rhythm of wheels on tracks.

 

The sound of someone mowing,

then the sweet aroma of freshly cut grass.

 

The delight of children’s treasure,

at a yard sale down the street.

 

I lay near the open window,

Closing my eyes, breathing in,

As the breeze tickles my feet.

 

I glory there for a moment

In the sounds and the smells,

You see, life is calling, to wake up once again.

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Poetry

Shower

This past weekend I attended baby shower of a dear friend’s daughter.  It was pouring rain as we each made our way to the shower, yet we made our way.  Women, young and old, gathered around  the new mother-to-be.  We brought gifts, love and encouragement, for both mother and daughter.  The gathering of women is a sight to behold.

Shower

Women walk, wearing easy summer dresses.

Rain falls, umbrellas open

sandals in puddles, gifts in hands.

 

Tables draped in linens, hold borrowed china,

flowers surround unlit candles,

fragrant in the warm summer air.

 

Women, young and old, have gathered,

lovingly their eyes rest on her swollen belly.

 

The women squeeze in tight

as water drips from canopy rims,

down backs, drops glisten on fallen hair.

 

A smiling watermelon hippo offers fruit,

chicken salad on croissants,

salads brought to be shared

 

Talking, laughing, the eating of cupcakes.

Ribbons are cut, guessing inches,

stories of mothers and babes linger in the air.

 

The women circle, lemonade in hand,

their eyes on the one becoming.

The gifts fall like the rain.

 

The birds sing in rhythm from treetops.

A soft breeze blows, leaves and balloons flutter

The sun peaks, as clouds roll away.

 

Wrappings tumble, glitter flies in the sun.

Full are the hearts

of the woman, who came in the rain.

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Poetry

The Girl

In these dim days, I have been looking for bits of joy. My ordinary life, has become even more ordinary. I have slowed, and looked and paid attention to all the small things in my day. Turns out I’ve been missing allot.

I had a little girl stop in my office with her Dad, she is about four. In moments we had a glorious visit together and I’m still smiling about it.

The Girl

In a moment she slipped into my world.

Her smile curious, as we greeted,

she asked my name, and I asked her’s.

And just like that, we were friends.

I complimented her aqua blue

princess earrings.

She told me they were clip-ons.

She said she liked my blue eyes, and my dark brown hair

I replied that her golden hair was beautiful.

She smiled.

We continued complimenting everything about one another,

until we floated.

Her shirt said, Wonder Woman

I asked if she was a superhero.

She told me, Yes.

As she turned to leave, I asked,

What are your superpowers?

With confidence she said, I can fly, and I’ll save everyone.

Yes, I believe you will, darling girl

memoir

Jars of Clay

I have always been a God Seeker.  I was talking to God as a child, before I had any concrete information.

I was continually on the lookout for those walking a deep authentic faith, who were walking in an uncommon closeness with God

Patricia was one of those for me. She was interesting and prepared, a great Sunday school teacher.  In her seventies she wore a pixie cut, when all the other ladies her age were wearing teased curls, and I don’t think I ever saw a grey hair.  She could take a passage of scripture, or a story from the Bible and teach it so simply.  That even I, a girl with very little Bible knowledge could understand.

Anytime I would sing her praises to other ladies at church they would be sure to remind me, that even though she was a good teacher, she had quite the shady past.  She was divorced, had estranged adult children, a difficult second marriage and her new husband didn’t even come to church. Funny that I never noticed a deep or authentic faith in any of them.

There was something about her, her love for Jesus, her love for His words, her daily joy within a life of struggle that told me her faith was her hidden treasure, and I could see it shining through. Our friendship grew and I enjoyed anytime I could spend with her.

Several years into our friendship Patricia suffered a massive heart attack.  She laid in a coma for days and when she woke, she could not speak, read, or keep a straight thought.  Her recovery was long, and her heart would never beat strong again.

She would share with me later,  that in those dark hours of the night fear would try to overtake her, and she would pray for a shred of hope. Slowly hope found its way to her through the scriptures she had memorized and hidden her heart over the years.

As she laid in her bed recovering day after day, night after night she recalled the sweet words of Jesus, the soothing Psalms of David and the promises of God.  I remember her holding my hands in hers and telling me how grateful she was that she had hidden them within her and that I should do the same.

I saw how fragile a human life could be, a jar of clay that can be easily broken, and then I saw what could hold it together.

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memoir

The Robins Still Sing

I never understood the ritual of grave flowers. The one you are planting them for cannot see, smell or find any joy in them. Dad was faithful to plant grave flowers at the foot of the stones, engraved with the names of the ones he loved.

In the month of May, he would gather up a trowel, rake and a basket of new red geraniums—always red geraniums. He said, they were hardy and could weather in the sun.

He would make his way to the old Stevenson Cemetery that sits on a quiet country road and while the robins sang in the trees he would go to work. Wiping the dried grass from the stones, he would carefully plant his fragrant, unseen and unknown offerings.

Flowers that would grow unseen by the grandparents he adored, the mother he lost as a boy, the father he lived to please and the brother who died too young. These were his people and they were gone, yet his love for them was as faithful as the flowers he planted each year. His love weathered in the sun.

I find myself weathering, the days, the weeks, the months, the almost two years since Dad has been gone. Grief is an aching, a longing, as memories come fluttering back like leaves on the wind. Grief is the price you pay for love, and the love makes it worth it.

In the month of May, Mom and I find ourselves making our way down the quiet country road to the old Stevenson Cemetery. We wipe off the dried grass from the gravestone inscribed with his name. The robins sing as we sink our hands down in the dirt, the dirt that holds his ashes, yet he is not there.

We plant the grave flowers, our fragrant offering of pastel impatiens instead of red geraniums, because red geraniums make us too sad.

We plant the grave flowers for him, for the ones he loved, but mostly for us. We need reminding, that the love that binds us is faithful, and the robins still sing their cheerful song.

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