A mint-green cotton dress
With stains on the front
Where the goose knocked you down
And sat on your belly until Mama saved you
It was auntie’s wedding day
And now you were all dirty
And what would people say?
At 4, who gets dirty at 4?
Grandpa leaning down to your ear
Oh! He was a big, wonderful Irish man
Old Spice and pipe tobacco
Lifted his monstrous arm to the sky
He pointed to the soaring hawk
Except you think he said “hog”
With feathers and a screeching cry?
And since when do pigs fly?
White, cable-knit tights
Patent leather shoes
Sunday best, always in a pew
Then to Grandma’s for Sanka and Seven-up
Pink and tan and chocolate Keebler wafers
Sadness–no one ever picked the vanilla
At least not you
The stuffed animals in your bed
How you rotated their proximity to the center
So they could take turns sleeping next to you
You didn’t want anyone to be ignored
On the perimeter
To have hurt feelings
To get cold
You used to wake up in the middle of the night
Frost inside the windows and under
Your fingernails and on your lips
Smothered under a ton of blankets
And a red coat with smelly faux fur
Who wears a coat to bed?
I saw it
I remember it
Like it was me
Let’s lay down these restless bones
and comfortable silence
Poetry from Mary
and wisdom from Anne
warm blankets and chocolate
and prayers and gratitude
But, if that doesn’t work
then scrub the toilets
plant some seeds
you chop down the God-damned trees
And run, oh, you can run!
Until the knees give out
and your pen runs dry
Why can’t you lay down these restless bones?
Grab my shoulders
Yank my hair
Look me dead in the face
and silence the monkey mutter
with a promise in your eyes
and the same on your lips
Please, help me lay down these restless bones
Place my head in your lap
Trace your fingertips on my face
Caress my lashes
and tell me that the sleep will come
Will the sleep ever come?
Please tell me that sleep will eventually come
I tucked in mums among the fading petunias
and prettied the pots ready for Fall.
They are propped up in Summer’s shiny sun
as their faces reach for the rays
Grateful and accepting of their short life.
A fleeting image
in the corner of my mind’s eye
fondant candy ice-covered petals
It was there, like an effigy
just for a second–but so bold
an image of snow and bone-chill
isolation and wandering
Dark, dead flower heads spent for another season
Not returning like their perennial sisters
Typical me, always looking ahead
while stuck in the past
never thankful for the moment
The sun on my face, flowers in my lap
children at apron’s length
Thinking of ice crystals on a
hundred degree day
Already wishing the season away while
begging for it to stay
Is it just me, or can you feel it, too? Maybe it’s the slight north wind, a stray leaf among the green or the winter-laden catalogs that are starting to fill the mailbox. It’s coming, my friends, and the Almanac predicts it to be a long one in my neck of the woods. Sending you summer vibes and wishes that yours lasts as long as you want it to.
If you have the chance, look at the beautiful music video by the Zac Brown Band. It inspired this free write and the tilt-shift cinematography is amazing! (Mr. Liam Hemsworth ain’t so bad either!)
What follows is a very short and novice attempt at Christy’s Golden Shovel challenge (see her post and rules here).
This piece is inspired by singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves. Per GS rules, you’ll note that each of the words from the chosen lines of the song make up the last word of each phrase.
Keep it to yourself and If you think that you still love me are the lines from Keep it to yourself that have inspired the poem.
Remember that this is a work space and things can get messy and appear untidy. (Note: the phrasing format doesn’t show up correctly if you are viewing on a phone).
Gentle criticism is appreciated and helpful. In fact, if you want to try your hand using the same words–feel free to do so in the comments!!
As always, thanks for reading and fluttering around with me. xo
Sometimes I think about you
Do threadbare memories of me keep
you wandering? That door. I left it
propped open and accessible to
magic and possibilities until you closed it yourself.
time flip-flopped and fate settled you,
nestled you, next to me–do you think
our days would be better? That
life would be sweeter and you
could forget the pain? And just being still
could set the day’s sun. Where my arms encourage you to love
yourself. Maybe even me.