Tag Archives: memories

NaPoWriMo 2018, Day 17: She Served Us

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This is too much work!
This is the last time
I’m doing this!
Mom-Mom said
as she served us
a gorgeous Christmas dinner.
I was four years old.
I felt really sad,
wondering what future Christmases would be like
without Mom-Mom and her dinner.
Imagine my surprise when
the following year, like every other year before it,
she served us a beautiful Christmas dinner.

I Really Don’t Know

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Everything affects me these days.
I want to be so good,
and then I remember…
It all comes flooding back:
We were married,
then he was done,
then he met someone else,
lied about it,
and finally he’s moving out.
Finally I’ll be able
to reclaim my space.
Now how to navigate
the emotions that hurt?
How to find the courage
to stay with my experience?
It’s turns out that I really don’t know
as much as I once thought.

So Many Memories

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My two sisters
My two cousins
and I
were pall bearers today.
Five women
pulled our grandmother’s casket
out of the hearse
and wheeled it
up the aisle of the church.
Because my grandmother
was strong in her faith
she made sure to bring us to church
every time my sisters and I
spent the night at her house.
She taught me the Our Father prayer
and how to find hymns in the hymnal.
I remember how she’d pray,
kneeling, eyes closed,
resting her head in one hand
while the other held her rosary.
Because so many of my memories of her
involve the church,
the reality of her passing
really hit me
as we walked into the sanctuary.
The familiar strains of Ode to Joy
filled my ears.
The sound of the music
and the beauty of the space
touched my heart.
I cried as this moment
made her death seem
even more real.
The service was beautiful,
the luncheon that followed
went smoothly.
On the long ride to the cemetery
I got to thinking about
the ways we honor the dead
and provide closure for the living.
There were some final prayers
and then it was done.
I took a rose from the bouquet on her casket,
whispered goodbye Mom-Mom.
Now I’m home with this single flower
and so many memories.

NaPoWriMo Day 29: I Remember

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Today’s prompt references Joe Brainard’s I Remember. We were invited to list a series of memories, being concrete, using these details as the “connective tissue” of the poem. I’m tired.  I remember being tired a lot.  I’m not sure how this will go, but who ever is really sure?  Who is in control?

**********

I remember being born.
My twin sister waited while I went first.
Upon exiting my mother’s womb,
I was promptly set aside
because I was fine
and the spotlight was on my sister’s predicament–
breech, slowed progress,
doctor wanted to get the forceps,
my mother said, “HELL NO!”
and pushed her out.
She was blue.
They hustled around her,
making sure she was breathing.
I was cold and sad, crying,
I wanted to go back to the warm place.
I felt alone.
This is how I remember my birth.
To this day, this drama plays out
in our adult lives.
I am always fine,
and the spotlight is always on her predicament,
her struggling while everyone watches
as she gets pushed to the next stage.
Will it always be this way?
Can we be reborn where we are both fine?

NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 12: Round Like Balance

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Today’s prompt over at NaPoWriMo.net is a lot easier for me to wrap my head around than yesterday’s:

Describe in great detail your favorite room, place, meal, day, or person. You can do this in paragraph form.

Now cut unnecessary words like articles and determiners (a, the, that) and anything that isn’t really necessary for content; leave mainly nouns, verbs, a few adjectives.

Cut the lines where you see fit and, VOILA! A poem!

Okay then!  My favorite place for some time now has been a perfectly round hill tucked in a valley between two mountains in the Briançonnais region of the department of the Hautes Alpes of France.  I lived in Briançon for a few years and came to know some of the mountains like the back of my hand, and there are pieces of my heart and soul that remained there after I left my beloved France to return home to the US.

Last June I wrote this post in response to a prompt from a WordPress Writing 101 course.  When I read today’s NaPoWriMo prompt I said to myself, “Ok, dear, let’s not reinvent the wheel.  You know what your favorite place is.  Find that post from last year and make a poem!” Ah, I love the internets.  I went to my list of the 504 posts I’ve published on Yoga Mom, searched for “mountain” and voilà! There was my favorite place described in detail…ahh, the nostalgia.  Here’s a blurb from that post followed by the poem I constructed from it for today’s NaPoWriMo offering:

If I could go anywhere right this second, it would have to be a little hill nestled in a high mountain valley close to Briançon, France, in the department of the High Alps (les Hautes-Alpes).  The first apartment I lived in during my time in Briançon boasted a lovely view of countless mountains including two which I came to know intimately– le Mélézin and la Roche Motte.  From my apartment window I could just make out the valley in between the two peaks.  I remember wanting to go there, curious about that valley for several months, and then one day…

 

Drive up the winding mountain road,
park in the little village.
Now hike in.

Magical.  

Pine forest, gorgeous wildflowers,
mountain breeze,
sunshine, heaven.
Mushrooms here and there–
Maybe a fairy or an elf
will saunter by.

Stop every now and again
along the winding mountain path
to 
sip some water,
breathe the most gorgeous perfume
of  fallen pine needles,
rich earth,
wildflowers, rock.
Round le Mélézin and
face the hot sun beating down.
Laying eyes the hill,
now climb it.

Sit and watch life unfold from this vantage point
cradled there between the two peaks–
a proper hill,
a BIG hill,
a hill that is steep and rocky on one side
gently sloping on the other.
Choose your steps
rock to rock,
across a rushing stream,
pick your way through mushy grass
wet with the spring thaw
melting into summer.
The greenest grass,
marmots scrambling,
sheep pastured for the summer,
their bells
peppering their bleats
with the monotone music
of intermittent clanging.

At the far end of the valley,
a shallow, ice cold torrent,
melt-off from the surrounding peaks
–the wonder of seeing snow in the middle of July,
icy refreshment
to soothe and invigorate
this body, so hot after a long hike. 

Be brave.
with nothing but the blue sky,
birds, marmots,
and some sheep to witness your courage–
strip down,
take a dip for a few AHA seconds,
hands cupping ice water
pouring over face and body,
shivering.

Get dressed now.
Tingling skin
warming in the sun,
walk back to the beautiful round hill,
round like the earth,
round like a woman in her 40th week of gestation,
round like wholeness,
like completeness,
round like balance.

 

 

Kite Flying

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It was a gusty warm March day,
and I had my two little ones
along with my nephew for the afternoon.

On the way out the door to the playground,
I remembered the kite we bought
a few years ago.

Once there,
it took a moment to assemble
so long had it been since I had last flown that kite.

Once the parts were fit together
It didn’t take much for it to grab the wind
whose hearty puffs of energy quickly
bore the kite aloft into the vast expanse of blue sky

and I remembered childhood kite flying days
and the thrill of watching my kite
grow smaller and smaller
as the distance stretched
between my hand
and the bright colors of soaring magic.

***********************
I enjoyed about ten minutes of tugging on the kite string before passing it on to my nephew who did quite well manning the vessel.  And then a child who wanted to take a turn flying the kite after my nephew let it careen off into the forest where it got stuck in a tangle of trees and briars.  It was ensnared about 25 feet up in a small tree with no branches to climb to fetch it.  The little boy’s mother said she was sorry about the kite but sadly made no offer to contribute to a replacement.  What made it worse was that she had mentioned them having the same kite so she knew how expensive it was– between forty and fifty dollars–not a cheapo plastic one, but a beautifully constructed work of flying art. For the rest of the afternoon and evening I was nursing a pretty righteous grudge; if the tables were turned I would’ve surely offered some money as well as a sincere apology. My husband and I tried to retrieve it when he got back home from work at dusk but our ladder wasn’t long enough, neither was the telescoping pole with an X-acto knife taped to it that we were hoping to use to cut the string and free the kite.  The air grew colder as the sun set, and my hands began to sting from the wind exposure. Sigh.  No more kite.  Another fine opportunity to practice forgiveness and non-attachment.

Searching

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Gri-Gri

We let go of you last night.
We wanted you to be released from your suffering.
I knew it was the right decision,
one that I would want made for me,
if I were in your condition.

But now I look for you.
On the stairs up to my meditation room
where you would patiently wait for me
until I was done sitting.

I look for you on the couch
where you would bask in the afternoon sun.
Under the bed where you would hide
when the children were too loud.

In your corner of the basement
where you would go
when underneath the bed wasn’t quiet enough.

I keep expecting to hear the sounds of
your claws tapping on the hardwood floors,
to hear you purr in greeting as I walk into the room.
You didn’t make all that much noise,
but I can notice the quiet that has blanketed the house
in your absence.

What will I do with all this emptiness I feel?
And how long will I keep searching for you,
knowing that you never again will be
where you once were?

I guess you are everywhere now…
If I listen, I might hear your purr
echoing from the walls of my heart.