The house seemed smaller, now seen with older eyes...
The street seemed narrower, the trees taller..
Where once were open fields across the road
New construction had bloomed
The small fruit orchard had disappeared
But somehow we knew it would still be there....
Strangely different, ...yet much the same
There was an unfamiliar young child's tricycle
On the flagstone path that we laid...
In front of this little house that lies
Beyond the curve, where the old sycamore grew...
Suddenly, thirty years faded into that autumn day
And quickly had become a springtime of our lives.....
...of first Christmas trees,..of first anniversaries...
...a place where I cried night after night when mother died...
...and spent long, starry nights holding newborn babes....
Yes....it is all still there, in the little yellow house
Funny, but I'm glad they kept the yellow...
It has the same white shutters...
The little yellow house, with a flagstone pathway that we laid
That sits beyond the curve, where the old sycamore grew...
When hard times come they sit a spell,
Like kin folk come to stay
A-packin' troubles, pets an' kids
That always get ‘n your way.
It's drought an' flood, an' flood an' drought,
There ain't much in-between.
You work like hell to make ’em good,
But still they’re sorta lean.
The ranch went under late last year,
The drought got mighty tough.
The boss held-out a long, long time,
But finally said, "enough!"
So here I am dispatchin’ cops
An’ watchin’ felons sleep,
In Junction, at the county jail,
A job I’ll prob’ly keep.
The wife, she works at Leisure Lodge,
Where older people stay,
A-makin’ beds an’ moppin’ floors
To earn some ‘extra’ pay.
Though “extra pay‘s” the term I used,
It goes to payin’ rent,
An’ after all the bills are paid,
We wonder where it went.
We hocked my saddle, guns an' chaps,
An' then our weddin' rings;
Then when we couldn't pay the loan,
They sold the 'dad-blamed' things.
We felt real bad a day or two
But then we let it go,
Cause it got Christmas for the kids
When money got real slow.
When hard times come they sit a spell,
Don't matter who you are;
They'll cost ya things you've set aside,
An' clean your cookie jar.
You'll loose some sleep an' worry some,
Won't pay to moan an' groan;
But hang on to your happiness,
They'll finally leave ya 'lone.
Sunrise against my neck
that no cheap tan booth could ever match.
I ring the doorbell in anticipation of joy’s injection.
I needed it.
Because I left my cell phone in the car,
as I didn’t want to hear any chimed email
or text annoyances.
And the car just got cleaned,
only for the birds to have their way
on its waxy shine.
Time to grab the flamethrower from my trunk!
But, before I could scream in Braveheart declaration,
there she was.
Her 6 yr old smile,
made of 1/4 inch gaps between innocence enamel,
captured me like no other could.
“Tio”, she preached in angelica sonata.
As she held me,
with puppy love warmth.
Even the rainbows fell to its knees.
She took off my jacket with ferret-like perkiness and
asked me to sit on the floor with her.
But, not before offering to toast me some Eggo waffles
with a big glass of Ovaltine…
…in her Little Mermaid glass,
proudly made in North Korea.
It even had the dictator’s initials and a bucktooth smiley face stamp, signed in glitter
Thank God I just took my online course in Child Safety.
I was ready!
As I sip on Little Mermaid’s curves,
shaped in plastic, swirly straw weirdness,
a sound blasts off from a Barbie radio.
My 2 yr old angel galloped into this heart of mine,
with Tinnitus piercing scream & laughter,
tackling me in Incredible Hulk lunge.
“Hi Tio”, she whispered, before she hopped back upstairs,
laughing maniacally with rapid head tilts, left to right to left.
Boys will fear her.
And I couldn’t be more proud.
After two moments of silence,
my 6 yr old angel places her Dr. Seuss book on my lap,
as she sits in front of me.
“I can r-r-read
with my eye-s
She carefully completed the sentence,
as my eyes instantly fill with leaky pride
and an ingrained smile.
10 minutes later, she shut her book and asked me how she did.
“I am so proud of you my angel.”
“You have come so far.”
I had to hold back tears because I didn’t want to throw her off.
Yet I think she knew,
because she kept her head down and smiled with gentle starburst.
And it was then where I heard her say,
“Those who matter don’t mind,
those who mind don’t matter.”
But she was quiet, looking at me with tilted head & smile.
For it was my inner child,
© Drake J. Eszes
I carry my mother
like a rock in my pocket
that I just can’t seem to throw away
It serves me
it just weighs me down
When I first found it,
when I first picked it up
and started carrying it with me,
I thought it so beautiful –
I could look at it for hours
But, like my mother,
it never looked back at me,
never grew warm under my loving gaze
For the longest, I was blind to that,
Blind to anything but the beauty,
blind to the cold, hard,
beyond-remote nature of the rock,
of my mother,
I carry my mother,
a thought without weight
And she’s heavier
and she’s colder
than all the stones
By the time I recognized her
immutable, emotional unavailability,
I had run out of joy,
felt depleted of hope –
But I could not,
for the life of me,
stop seeking a beauty, a warmth,
inside her heart
Could not stop
that one day this stone,
deep inside my pocket,
Might just become
its own opposite –
Change from hard to fluid,
from cold to warm
But my rock, my hard burden,
will only turn to water
When my mother
Visited you today
as the sun set in the horizon…
the orange tinged carnations
were a perfect complement
for the skies
and for you…
orange and blue
always remind me of you
the winds softly blew
and I just sat there
staring at the grass,
well more at your name really…
what I am looking at,
that it’s been seven years
of missing you,
of just putting that reality
at the back of my mind…
But there are days,
such as today
which make me
confront that reality—
I see your smile,
remember your laughter
celebrate your spirit
and your love
Tears, I tell you I have
the most stubborn tears
maybe because they
make it so real for me?
I look around me
and look for that sign
Nope, not there…
I say a prayer
and speak to you
thankful for the life shared
I kiss the date that you were born
and walk away
my reflection on the car window
One last look around,
and then I see it…
a cat, as we drive away…
Skies now streaked purple and pink
**My brother would have been 40 today, May 6…
Their lives begin, that special day
Your hardest job, is on the way.
Walking and pacing, all night long
Knowing that one day, they’ll be strong.
Watching them crawl, then walk and run
Treasure each moment, share their fun.
They grow so fast, enjoy each day
For sometime soon, they’ll move away.
Years of school, sometimes they will drag
We’re filled with pride, we parents brag.
Teaching our kids, always be kind
Lasting friendships, many will find.
Do as I say, not as I do
We all have said, our parents too.
The truth comes out, don’t cheat or lie
Don’t try and skimp, to just get by.
Take the right path, we try to guide
Sometimes they don’t, we let it slide.
Knowing they must, find their own way
Life is tough, on track they must stay.
Bumps in the road, many will hit
We as parents, just have to sit.
Learn from mistakes, it takes its’ toll
Their independence, that’s our goal.
The hardest part, is yet to come
When high school years, are said and done.
We’ve done our jobs, as best we could
We must let go, or so we should.
Give them their wings, and let them fly
As we sit back, and often cry.
Turning the page, is hard to do
Wondering if, they listened to you.
Reach for the stars, follow your dreams
It takes time, forever it seems.
Your heart will break, can’t let it show
It’s so difficult, letting go.
Things that seemed poetic were always sad,
though I yearned for sparkle
and my dad's guffaw, which never came.
Familiar things were always drear --
repeated motions in the same old game.
There were only distant glimpses
of budding spring, fleeting views
of daffodils. The strongest
poems dealt me death and dying.
Yet I always hoped, never went under
to gray despair, always dreaming
of a garden of love that we could share.
But those forbidden delights faded
quickly away; the only reality
I understand is the ever-looming
and final one. Nothing's changed.
The strongest poems deal death and dying.
See the woman.
See the face behind its age.
See the beauty of her form.
See the way her way becomes her.
See past her once taught skin, as it was
when it enflamed many a man.
See the way she holds her head;
the tilt of her neck, the ease
of her being.
See the strength that binds her jaw,
unrelenting in its flex.
See her hurt displayed, as shadows
fall like night upon the earth,
eager for rest and resolution -
for the one she could not save.
See her darkness. See it very well.
See it shatter like glass, glinting,
when she giggles like a girl.
See her shine.
As the shades of dark days rise,
See the years that grace her eyes,
like rays of her own sun
exponentially shining forth.
See forgiveness in her patient hands
as they weave memories with a touch.
See the breadth of her breasts,
for they have quenched her children’s hunger,
soothed their frantic cries,
and became the safe haven for her beloved.
See her empty, scarred abdomen –
round and perfect in its imperfections,
once holding the essence of all things;
carrying creation within –
see the divine home of God.
See the innocent baby,
the impetuous youth,
the voluptuous woman,
the devoted wife,
the selfless mother.
See the wisdom of the grandmother –
the epitome of every moment lived
for someone else, and the realization
of the circle.
Hear the acceptance in her sigh.
See the gifts she has given –
see the woman!
See the goddess!
The beginning and the end!
See the infinite that bares the name,
See her for all that she is and isn’t.
Smell her scent and know you are home.
Taste the strength of her words on your tongue.
Hear her experiences like your own.
To touch her soul is to touch perpetuity!
See her face in your mirror.
See the tears that fall proudly
upon the woman you’ve become,
and hope yet to become
when you have lived through all that has been
set before you –
tasted each woman’s tears as if they were your own.
When you enter that perfect union,
when you become,
when you come
you will see yourself in all things,
and your journey, will see you back
*Reposted for Chris's Get Your Rebel On, Contest! This was written with my Beautiful
Grandmother in mind. She saved my life in more ways than one. love you, Gran. This one's
for you. (and every woman, and woman lover, here)
This enlisted soul
At eighteen years old
Barely a man
Not even street wise told
From the proms, to the camp
He kits out tomorrow
His future he stamps
Never knowing bloodied sorrow
In just under a year
He's older and wiser
To a theatre so different
Says his military adviser
Overseas he heads
Thoughts of back home
What goes through his mind
In eighteen years old roam
Where could he have been
In so short a time
Making joining words rhyme
As he looks to his background
What does he see
An eagle soaring
In the land of the free
The statue of liberty
And the bill of rights
With the thirteen stripes
And the stars to delight
He is just a boy
In grown up clothes
Another one lost
To a cause we will loathe
I was blessed to know a woman in my life
Who faced hard times, struggle, and strife.
A Chinese immigrant, she came from a poor town
Lost her husband, was kept from her daughter, but not kept down.
She had three other children who were born here
Getting them a better life was her biggest fear.
She had to fend for herself and them alone you see,
Speaking little of the language in this foreign country.
But, she had always lived a determined life
So she fought back...with a fork and a knife.
She opened a restaurant in a small community
Where her gracious manner made her friends instantly.
Her children would grow up in town with new friends
The restaurant she opened was the mean to her ends.
She worked very hard...sometimes eighteen hours a day
She never complained because that was her way.
Her life's expectations knew more successes sublime
The restaurant grew...one egg roll at a time.
She once told me of the anxiety she felt at the money she'd spent...
Laughing said, "My uncle said sell 2 qts of Chop Suey/Day...you've got the rent."
She was a woman who chose kindness as she felt had to her been shown
To people far and near her generosity was known.
She was thankful that she had the opportunity
To give back with love rather than animosity.
I first met her over some 30 years back
She struck me from the that moment as a person who had the knack
To make others feel at home though strangers they be
She certainly did, because she did it to me.
I still remember her caring for me...it was shown
Once caught in a blizzard, she opened her home.
So often was there a path to this woman's door
Though she stood, less than 5 foot 4.
Her heart was as big and wonderful as one would want
An earthly angel, she was heaven sent.
Though her health began to wane later in life
She never gave in to that world of strife.
Her eyesight began to fail and it was difficult for her to see
But that didn't stop her or her generosity.
She loved people and filled everyone with cheer
Ever thankful that she had had a life here.
Though she is gone I'll never forget her face
Or her love of life, devotion to family, and unstoppable pace.
To me I'll ever be thankful to have had the joy
Of calling her "Ma" ... ONE IN A MILLION~was Connie Moy!
1st Place Winner - "One in a Million" Poetry Contest