art · Family · Love · poetry · relationships · writing

Birch Trees (with recording)

Strains of Tijuana Brass flood the yard
while father on bended knee tends
his garden, tiers of stone edged rows
encircling a trio of birch trees.

Father points out birches on Sunday
drives, as if the bark is sacred, leaves
whispering a secret I cannot hear –
stirs in me an indefinable longing.

My husband planted birch trees
there amongst the flower beds –
how the leaves shimmer in sunlight,
how my heart quickens, bittersweet.

Imagine Father seated there, mellow
as he was in old age, angst expended,
tyranny of parenting set aside – understand
love unexpressed dwells in birch trees.

(Watercolour image by yours truly)

Family · Love · memoir · poetry · writing

Sibling Camaraderie

Remember that time
wading to the caves
St Martin’s summer

How the tide rushed in
Atlantic pulling us apart
my body weak with laughter

How you shouted, coaxed –
once ashore we collapsed
wet but warm, hearts flooded.

(My brother and I weren’t raised together, as his father abducted him at age 10.  Reunited years later, I treasure the moments we get to spend together, even though they are few and far between.  Image my own.)

 

adversity · Family · poetry · relationships · writing

Toxicity

Sold my soul for union –
destruction built-in

Narcissism is a bastard
luxuriates in self-catering

Did not anticipate loss –
innocence slaughtered

Force to grow sensibility
don a tough shell –

Would not let betrayal
call me by name.

It was not meandering
that shredded my heart

but the loss of a child
caught in the crossfire

too young to discern
parental alienation.

(Image from personal collection.)

Family · life · poetry · writing

Familial Legacy

“…too young to notice
how fear persists, and how
the anger that causes fear persists…”
– Immortality, 
by Lisel Mueller

Purposeful, this fortress
permanently ungrounded

Burdened without bearing
fear underlying motivation

Reassured that life is unfair
dedicated to defying limits

Challenged by rage
bloodline ingrained

Pulled towards inevitable
complete collapse.

(Inspired by the promptings of Reena’s Exploration challenge.  To see the full poem and prompt click here.  Image from personal collection.)

creativity · culture · Family · Love · poetry · writing

Christmas Baking

Dates soften in the pan –
I stir with preoccupation
fresh-faced excitement
motivating each step.

I measure sugar, oats,
flour, the enormity
of my heart’s capacity
to love these young ones.

Add butter, and mix,
each stroke a hug,
anticipating enjoyment
a sweet connection.

Pat and bake, timer set,
bright eyes and tiny palms
lift upwards with sparkle –
Christmas cheer upon us.

(For Ragtag Community’s prompt: mix.  Image from personal collection.)