creativity · culture · poetry · writing

Spotlights Burn

She amassed children while
he pursued accolades

Family photos display
northern shorelines
tanned faces, white-toothed grins
parents not represented

Lost her childhood
at the bottom of a ravine
laid beaten and shattered
no one came to rescue her.

Guess that’s what drew her
the his light; money, she hoped
would not abandon her.

But muck tracks the same
and children need feeding
and absent a co-parent
she sleeps most days.

Offspring learn independence
a product of adults’ disarray
outlasting the fickleness of fame.

(For Reena’s Exploration Challenge:  prompt is the last line of the poem.  Image my own.)

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)

aging · change · Family · poetry · relationships

Distorted Lenses

My memory of you –
distorted by childish exuberance –
distant and disinterested

Translated vacant eyes
through the lens of my needs
child that I was.

Failed to notice
the aura of defeat,
the battered heart

the robotic responses
masking unbelievable sorrow
missed it all

till death knocked
and I saw you anew –
adult lenses now fully secured.

wonder at the fortitude
that kept you upright,
the love that served us both.

No fault here –
on either side –
just a bittersweet understanding.

(Life, in retrospect, offers new revelations.  Poem inspired by Reena’s Exploration challenge – image as prompt.)