You were beautiful,
my tiny child,
wrapped tightly in my arms,
close to my heart.
I listened to you breathing.
I counted your fingers
and your toes.
you cried out to me
and I loved you
with every ounce of my soul.
Will you hear me
when I cry out?
Will you hold me close
as I held you then?
I remember the day
You took your first step.
There was no stopping you.
Your feet gave you freedom
to explore the world
like never before
but danger lurked.
I opened those doors anyway,
you to the world.
Where will you be
when my legs
no longer run?
no longer work?
Will you realize
that I love
about that day
you first tied your shoe.
We tried and tried
to get that rabbit
in that hole
and you finally did it.
You pointed your toes
for everyone to see
how proud you were.
I am proud too,
of my writing
and my drawing,
of my needlework
and my cooking.
But my hands are beginning to ache
and my fingers will not bend.
I will lose the things
that make me proud
except for you.
Hopefully not you.
Will you let me
brag on you?
Even tell wild stories
that are a bit beyond the truth?
Will you be proud of me too?
I waved good-bye
that morning when you left
on that large, yellow bus.
I was so scared.
I know you were too.
You waved at me bravely
through the dusty window
but I saw the water
forming in your eyes.
You came home, however,
full of pride and joy.
You sang the alphabet song
and got most of it right.
You practiced for hours
until you could sing it
even in your sleep.
whether I took
my pills today or not.
if I told this story before.
I even forgot once
who you were
and it terrified me.
is my treasure
the only thing I have left,
and I heard you make
fun of me
for not remembering
that I gave you the
same gift as last year.
Will you love me
when I no longer
know who I am?
You came home blushing
from the glow of
your first kiss.
Your first love,
the one you thought was real.
You talked about him non-stop.
You changed for him. You gave.
But he left you anyway
for a blue-eyed girl
and I held you
while you cried for him.
I too have a
The love of my life
left me after
He left me here
to live life on my own
while he moved on
to another realm
And I cry for him too.
I long for his shoulder
and strong embrace.
I feel betrayed
because he and I
made a deal
that we would never
leave the other alone.
Yet I am alone
sitting in an echoing house
with no hands to hold.
You welcomed her home today-
your tiny baby girl.
She has your eyes
and possibly your toes.
I see you counting them
as they roll me
into the room.
You finally came
It has been a while.
You look up at me
with tears in your eyes
"Will she tie my
when I get old? "
I am standing outside my bedroom, on the precipice of lost innocence.
Wide eyed, and barefoot on cold hardwood.
Someone is hammering on our front door.
My father, looking a bit annoyed, shuffles anxiously down the stairs.
Tussled hair, a bewildered vein bulging in his forehead,
wearing his old, blue plaid robe, the one with the woven rope belt,
he looks like a lightweight boxer, ready to enter the ring.
There are two grim faced policemen waiting on the front porch.
My mother, at the top of the stairs, clutches the neck of her gown.
She looks as if she might choke herself.
Confused concern, reflects in sleep swollen eyes.
They ask my father, “How well do you know those folks across the road?”
As they notice me standing on the stairs, they quickly lower their voices.
In a hushed, rather husky monotone, they explain to my father...
whispering something about a boy who has taken a shotgun out into the hills…
He has taken his own life…and has been identified as the boy...,
the teenager, who lives kitty-corner across our road.
The same kid who mowed our grass when Dad was sick for a spell last summer.
The one who bags Mom’s groceries at the local A & P.
They think I don’t hear them ……but I do…
and I hear them ask my father,
would he, please, come along to help them break the news?
My father, glazed eyes, and head low, steps away a moment, to quickly dress.
I remember hearing my mother gasp, then suck in a sob,..
But then is right behind me, pulling me towards her…..
and I can feel her heart pounding, through flannel of my pajamas.
She is squeezing my shoulders..so hard that it hurts,.... somehow I don’t mind.
I look up seeking reassurance,.... her eyes are huge, …
and she knows that I have heard….
And we both know,...that nothing will ever be the same.
After this day is over, the childhood of yesterday, will wear a different face…
Father pulls a coat over his pajama tops, …he gives my mother a touch on the arm.
With a desolate look at me, he touches my head.
He steps out into the darkness of a not quite dawn.
And through the window, I can see the line of shadows on the lawn.
Three men, like hunched over soldiers, walking slowly into the wounds of a new day.
(Sadly, this is based on a true story)
Birth was suppose to come easier than this
I pant quickly as I was taught, but it isn't helping,
nor is squinting my eyes, helping to make the pain go away
But, then when pain evaporates like the tears in the corners of my eyes,
without ever getting a chance to slide slowly down my cheeks,
it fools me in thinking it is almost over now, and I should be happy
But all I can think about is my mother
and how different it was for her,
especially while her young husband was so far away
My back aches, and then once again,
I look for the owner of the mysterious voice, that is my own
I groan, and the doctor finally makes the desperate decision
I am given a block for the pain, an incision is made
and although I feel numb, and foggy, my mind in a haze
I can feel hands grope, ... a tug, a void, and then...the small noise... a cry...
And the next several hours are a blur
until everything is clear and I'm back in my room
on the sterilized sheets, too stiff, and too sleek,
too fragrant of bleach, to think about sleeping
This miracle I bore, soft as silk, with tiny closed fists, rose-petal nails
fills me with joy, with relief, with a deep pang of grief
for another time, another place, a place long ago...
I bathe in the scent of my brand new beginning ......
But my thoughts stream behind me,...... to a hope that had ended
My mother in bed, after losing her first....
So young, without child,........ bleeding red
from the war that she fought, while my Dad fought his own
I cry tears all alone.... for the grief that she owned
I so cherish the breath.....of this babe on my breast
The circle of life, starts with birth .....sometimes, death
“Well,” She asked; her eyes wide. Beads of hot sweat glistening on her brow like miniature
crystal suns. Her angst was palpable. “What is it!”
The air was still. There were no words. Just the sound of bodies breathing in – and
“Congratulations.” He held out his arms, handing the mother, her baby, “You have a son.”
The moment shone like glass in the center of the heavens – pure and eternal.
It was redemption from every wrong thing she’d ever done.
It was the shining eyes of God smiling onto her exhausted face; lighting it with hope.
It was the only place there was – the only time, the only space.
It was the only feeling that existed.
They were the only two incarnate souls in the room; on the planet, and in the universe.
This was her child –
And she was his mother.
(there are no words for such things. suddenly, I feel like an intruder. there are too many
eyes, words and moments here. so it is here, I take my leave; leaving this mother and the
only soul in her universe to their perfect moment. they will have many more moments in this
lifetime; but none as sacred, as human, or as eternal as the first look from life to life;
mother to child; heaven to earth, as the very first. None.)
“It’s a boy.” she whispered. Her throat a crumbling tunnel; stunned, but not really. Like
she’d known it all along. “My baby boy…” She smiled into his ancient, brand-new face;
tracing his delicate cheek with the back of her finger. “He’s perfect.”
She ran her palm along the bottom of his soft, miraculous foot, and laughed. “Look at
your feet – they’re huge!”
And as she wiped the tears with the heel of her shaking hand – smearing what was left of
her mascara - she looked in to his, as close to heaven as one can get, eyes, and said, “Hi.
I’m your mama.” He smiled at her. He knew. He’d known it all along. “And I’ll love you
The world closed its shades then. Leaving the sacred to its history; the moment to
eternity; and their universe to its quiet, little room.
*Inspired by Deborah's, You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby, contest; and every mother
who has graced this sacred room.
Once bloomed a rose so young and fair
With dark brown eyes and long black hair
Beside her be a tall dark tree
Whose branches stretch to smother thee
Too close beside the shadowy bark
That soon begins to leave its mark
She cries for help, but none shall hear
Her thorns too sharp, who’d dare go near?
To save this rose, who’d risk their life?
With naught to gain but pain and strife
Alone, afraid, she lays to rest
Her heart beats low inside her chest
And with the hour growing near
She sheds her final grieving tear
And so the rose soon falls asunder
Her final day, eternal slumber
She lies beside the old dark tree
The only one who mourns for thee
It is October again, but I have another in mind
One long ago, and it brings tender memories
It wasn't the usual, of Halloween kind
Of parties and goblins, of which there were many
It was a year of some changes, our family had moved
I was ten years old...struggling and shy
A small little town, I'd been replanted and torn
It was late in October...now uprooted and more...
A different school....a country lane....no close neighbors next door
On Halloween night, it rained and it poured
The end of the world...I was unhappy and bored
Leaving what had been home, familiar and sure
Where our old street had been filled
With Halloween thrills
Here in the country, ...no one came to the door
I was dressed to go out...but storms plagued the night
My mom understood....she saw my sad plight
She went up to her room, made up her face
She combed up her hair, until it stood on it's roots
Covered her face with black fireplace soot
She threw on her robe, and pulled on dad's boots
Crept out the back door, and to the front porch
When the doorbell rang....I jumped in delight!
Trick-or-treaters had come to our house this dark night!!
When I opened the door, at first I didn't see
It was mom, ...trying to hard, bring me some glee!
She grabbed me and laughed and pulled me to come
Out into the rainstorm....up the road we would run
We ran in the downpour, getting soaked to our skin
Laughing and yelling....such fun it had been!
Later that night, we warmed by the fire
She let me stay up....no one was tired
So cozy and warm...no longer so cold
With popcorn, and candy...and the ghost stories told
That one Halloween, on that night of the storm
Was the best Halloween....and reminds me of home.....
I'll never forget when each Halloween comes
The gift of the fun.... all thanks to my mom.....
They needed help
Walking alone in the dark.
A broken down car.
The child frightened,
But not understanding
That would soon
Come her way.
Her parents petrified
That their baby was gone,
Over forbidden images
That crowded their way
Past ice cream sundays
And birthday parties
And wedding days.
A doer of good deeds.
He looks into
the little girl's eyes.
The girl speaks,
"This is not my dad"
And the coward
who took her,
Believing he saved
From a long, cold walk,
Saved a child
From a long, cold death.
As December winds swirled the snow in drifts outside
Lisa covered Mama, held her hand as she cried
“It’s my last Christmas, I know it in my heart, dear
Send my prayers to God; deliver them with my tears”
“Hush, Mama, you can’t die; Tommy needs you so
And his tour of duty still has six months to go”
Mama fell asleep, Lisa bowed her head in prayer
Adding her own tears, she asked that Tommy be there
“Please let my brother see Mama just one more time
When her eyes open, may it be her son she finds”
Tears fell on the floor as Lisa kept vigil
Beside her cancer-stricken mother so fragile
Awakening to see Tommy standing nearby
In uniform he appeared; Lisa exhaled a sigh
“God sent you home, I knew He would, our pleas were heard”
Tommy stroked his sister’s hair, saying not one word
‘Twas then Lisa saw Mama standing behind him
Aglow in heaven’s light were her mother and twin
“How blessed we’ll be – together on this Christmas Day!”
Lisa exclaimed, just before they faded away
Confused, she saw her ashen mom so still in bed
‘Neath the door a telegram, Tommy too was dead
And though there were tears in Lisa’s blue eyes so bright
Her loved ones would spend Christmas together in God’s sight
A smile came as candles flaming in the window grew
Lisa realized one Christmas she’d be with them too
*Rhyming narrative for Paula Swanson’s “Tear” contest
My daughter`s budgie "Sissie" died a late night
The next morning I told her that "Sissie" was dead
With tears on her eyes and cheeks, she asked her mom
- Is "Sissie" in heaven with God and grandmother ?
- Yes, she is with God, grandmother and the angels
I answer her
Surprised at this answer, my daughter investigate
whether it was true
She walks into the room where the cage with
the budgie used to stand
After a short while, she runs back to mom....
- Mom, mom.... God has not only taken "Sissie"
- God has taken the cage too
This is a true story - - - from gold child`s mouth
dedicated to: Laila A.Mjelde
Little Bee, Deaamoo, grandmother of the Crane Clan, lies staring. The light of
winter’s first full moon falls into the room. Through a ghostly haze of tobacco and
sage smoke, she sees her loved ones. One withered hand clasps a cowrie shell,
mee-ghis, tightly to her heart and in the other she holds a small dreamcatcher for
her youngest granddaughter Little Aamoo. Strands of gray white hair escape from
her braids which trail down beside her bird-frail form touching the fringe of her
parting dress. Her clan has been in the sweat lodge praying for her safe journey
home, some appear red-cheeked; others are a pale as the shades of her
ancestors. It is the end of her days, a time for passing on.
Outside of the house near the fringe of balsam pine a circle of stones are laid, each
one blessed and bringing an anchoring comfort to man, lodged between earth, and
sky. The four directions are marked and her way west is clear for her. Soon, she will
ask loved ones to lay here amongst the gifts laid for Pacugu, The Great horned Owl,
near the spirit house.
The veil is thin now between this world and the next. The smoke branches upward,
showing the way to sky world where Gichi Manidoo waits. The songs are being sung
for her now. The Shaman’s rattle is crisp and clear. All about her is beauty. Drums
keep the beat of her heart. They wait. Remembering one last story, she calls her
family to her, she must leave them with all the knowledge she has. "Ah, what was
that story? Well, that is not for you."