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Narrative Family Poems | Narrative Poems About Family

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Details | Narrative | |

Where The Sycamore Grew

The sun-yellow house seems smaller, somehow
seeing it now,  with much older eyes...

The street seems narrower, the trees are taller..
Where once open fields spanned both sides of the road
they are building new structures, and fences have bloomed
The neighboring orchards have all but disappeared

But somehow we knew the house would still be there....
Strangely distant, ...yet, still much is the same

There is a newer red tricycle
on the smooth flagstone path
one that we laid on a hot summer day...
in front of this house that lies at the bend
at the end of the road, where the sycamore grew...

As sudden as wind, thirty years fades away, lost in the moment of this crisp autumn day
And quickly alive, memories rise, becoming again the springtime of lives..... 

...our first Christmas trees,..and first anniversaries...
 ...a place where I cried long into the night, the child in me grieving when mother had died...
      ..then long, starry nights, lost in the moonlight, 
           counting my blessings, and holding my babies

Yes....it is all captured there, in the small yellow house

It's funny, I know, but I'm glad they have kept the yellow...
And it still wears the trace of sun, and crisp-white shutters...

The little yellow house, with a flagstone pathway that we laid
that sits beyond the bend, where the old sycamore grew...


                                       _________

Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2009

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Christmas Miracle in the Ghetto (Co-written with John Moses Freeman)

Peering at the radiating faces of happy families
So much joy emanates from well-to-do children’s sparkling eyes
Wish I could replace the grief, put smiles on the faces of my sons
Without a glimmer of hope even promises of warm meals would be lies

In the brown eyes of my sons, the same eyes their mother, my wife
Sadness the sacrifice, a courageous mother giving life
So great a zest for life she sacrificed to give her sons life
But now greed hath put her seed in peril and my world in strife

No “Help Wanted” signs in the windows of Main Street’s bustling stores
The aroma of fresh bread wafts tauntingly from the bakery
With my hands in pockets, finding not even loose change
Overcome with hunger and jealousy, should I resort to thievery? 

Mind reeling, contemplating abating moral principals
Suddenly appear familiar brown eyes amid face so dear
The image of deceased wife, Spanish born eyes filled with tears
Speaking, "Abe, the Lord is gracious, walk until head is clear"

I follow the light in her warm eyes reflecting in glass windows
They lead me down the road to a park at the end of town
Dressed in ragged clothing, a man sits with a smile of peace
Breathing white puffs in frigid air, this gentle soul sees my frown

The message is plain, as my fears begin to clear
There is a greater depth in a soul of love well kept
The night is far spent; I kissed the hand of this gentle man
He smiled sweetly and said, "Lift up heavy head from dread"
 
I look up to see sun glistening on snow-laden pine boughs
It’s here, Christmas Day, and I’ve left my children alone all night
An ache in my heart compels me to race quickly back through town
Breathlessly, I reach my porch unprepared for a welcome sight
 
Hearing laughter within, I smell, yams, turkey and ham
I open my door, on the floor, presents piled high as well
Laughing with glee, sons kiss me, sparkle of brown eyes I see
Sparkling brown eyes, of Spanish descent, love is evident
 
“From where in the world did all this come,” I ask my sons
“Beautiful lady with Spanish brown eyes, stopped at our door
She said a strange thing, as on the floor our gifts were lain,
‘Tell Abe keep the faith; a mother's love is stronger than the grave.’
Her hugs and kisses, will be greatly missed!  Who was she, Daddy?"


Thank you, Moses, for joining me and guiding me in this write.  Merry Christmas, dear 
friends!

Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2009

Details | Narrative | |

The Daddy

In the rundown little house where her family currently lives, the fourteen-year old glances obediently at her glaring daddy, nodding her head in quiet compliance to his usual horrible demands of her for the evening. Not to acquiesce would incur his utter wrath, and that is something she has learned well by now to avoid. Things are not like the old days, when she was twelve, feeling so lost, and he would lavish her with little gifts: bracelets with charms, cute purses, chocolate candies. . . With warm aqua eyes, he’d smile his approval as she whirled around the room, modeling a pretty dress for him. In those days when her world had fallen apart, he’d taken her in. His voice would softly soothe her then, chasing away her every fear. Back to reality. Daddy’s voice now is laced with menace. And his eyes are ice blue marbles staring through her. “Do what wifey says,” he instructs her at the door as she leaves with four other sisters and the one of legal age, her sister-wifey. Leaning in to her, his breath like chill wind on her nape, he whispers, “And you better be VERY good with your dates this time.” The young girl, in high heels, slit skirt, and heavy makeup, has exited the door when her daddy barks commands to his helper in the living room, and then Daddy exits too, but through the garage, where a Mercedes Benz is parked. He drives alone, a short trip across town to his other house - the one with manicured lawn and garden and a large pool out back - the large beautiful house where a real wife and a real daughter await him. “How was your day?” his beautiful young wife gushes as he crosses the threshold in his expensive business suit. “Oh, just another day at the office,” he quips, leaning in to give her a soft kiss. Then his young daughter comes bounding down the stairs, broadly grinning. “Daddy, look at the new dress you bought me!” She twirls with adolescent glee. The man, with blue eyes dancing, looks his fourteen-year-old daughter up and down. “Sweetie, you know I don’t like you wearing lipstick yet.” “Oh, Daddy,” she teases, “I’ll be dating soon.” “Afraid not,” he lovingly chides her. “Those boys will just have to wait at least for two more years. For now, you are Daddy’s little girl.” Written May 22, 2016 for the "Split Personalities" Contest of Brian Davey

Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2016

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My White Lace Tablecloth

I washed my white lace tablecloth and hung it out to dry
The bleach did the best it could-it was worth the try
'Though no one else can see, the stain still remains
As old as time itself 
Stubborn as mildew rot

One false step, one careless word forever etched in time
Travels the universe, endlessly
In search of a place to rest  
What would I not give to reverse that step
To retrieve that hateful word

Tread lightly in your daily walk, o'er hills and valleys in between
Plot well your steps and weigh your words
So you'll have nothing to regret, like the
Unkind words carved deeply upon your heart
I wash my white lace tablecloth again, again and again!
~*~
10/09/2007

Copyright © Annalise a.k.a. Audrey Haick | Year Posted 2007

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The Rose

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

Copyright © Nina Hernandez | Year Posted 2010

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My African Sister

I am a white, middle class, American male; raised in a white, middle class American home.  I would not say that my upbringing included a lot of diversity.

I remember talking to my brother, Jimmy, just before he told my father he was gay.  Jimmy told me about the inner struggle he wrestled with in first admitting to himself that he was homosexual.  He said he thought it was wrong; it was sinful and something he must avoid being.  Once he realized that being homosexual was not a fault but an innate sexual preference, he decided that he would not live a life of lies.  He, therefore, decided to tell his family about his sexual inclination.  It took a lot of courage to tell my ex-marine father.

Afi is a beautiful, strong, black African woman; raised in a black, African home.  Afi will admit that she is not overly charitable and not likely to do volunteer work.  When she first came to the U.S., however, she was appalled with how our society treated its AIDS victims.  In Africa, Afi would tell us, AIDS patients were embraced and cared for, not shunned and outcaste like here in the U.S.

Jimmy was not a promiscuous man.  He only knew a few sexual partners in his too short life.  Jimmy was a very intelligent and artistically gifted man.  He was doing post–doctorate research in Iraklion, Greece when he first started showing symptoms of having AIDS.

When Afi volunteered to be an AIDS Buddy she made it clear that she did not want to be paired with someone who had full-blown AIDS.  The organization was so hard pressed to find someone with a profile to match Jimmy’s intellect and interests that they begged Afi to just meet him, just once.

Afi says that within an hour she was no longer on a volunteer mission; she and Jimmy 
would be friends regardless of a commitment to the Buddy system.  Jimmy and Afi 
remained best of friends for the two remaining years we were blessed with his presence.

It has been 15 years since Jimmy passed away.  I am still a white, middle class, American male; from a white, middle class American family – only now, we have a beautiful, strong, black, African sister in our family.

Copyright © Joe Flach | Year Posted 2010

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BY DEFAULT

Stepping out of the car, my father and I,
on that shattering day, under a dismal sky
the end of the world,  had taken sunlight away
while the dawn, took our hope, sucking all the air away

For, even my tears, had nowhere to land 
Frozen thick in my throat, like the dry desert sand 
If just one would escape, how could they stop?   ...no shoulder, ...no dam? 


My Dad was in shock, as he stood  by the gate, 
         a glaze in his eyes, ......    and a million years old

My feet froze in place, my knees shivered cold
but without hesitation, I grabbed hold of his hand

I took him inside, and with deliberate intrusion
I fed him some soup, and put him to bed
He was the child, and I the adult
Day after day, somehow by default
our roles were reversed, ...and I became strong
My childhood had ended,.....and his had begun



_______________________________________________________
4/23/15 
Submitted and Inspired by the contest "The True Meaning of being an Adult"
Sponsor: FJ Thomas

Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2015

Details | Narrative | |

Color Me A Father

                   

A child with a crayon can color an imaginary world,
With dolls of mommies, daddies, boys and girls,
Full of horses, cowboys, cars and trains,
Can scratch them out and draw them all again,
Color me a rainbow with a pot of gold,
Color me a fairy with ribbons and bows,
Paint my face, a bright yellow sun,
In a green grassy field where a blue river runs,
With mountains and  trees set in a colorful scene,
Monkey bars, teeter-totters, an old tire swing,
Color my face with a bright happy smile,
In a wonderful world, if only for awhile,
I can pretend my life is happy and gay,
Not worry about the mean stuff, just for the day,
Not worry about what I will eat, or where I will sleep,
Or the cockroaches and rats that make me creep,
Color me a family with brothers and sisters,
Color me a man to call Daddy, not Mister,
Color my mom in a bright yellow dress,
Stretched in a hammock under a tree with a nest,
In the yard of the house, we can call our own,
With neighbors on each side of our lovely home,
Color my dreams carefree and wild,
Color my life always as a child,
Color me a father, color me a Dad,
Color me the life that I never had. 
Color me a garden with fruits of all kinds, 
Apples, pears with grapes on the vine, 
Color me a crayon that’s really a crayon,
Not this old sharpened pencil that I just found,
To draw my picture on this brown paper bag,
That was once filled with gin and Ole’ Granddad,
Now, Dream me a dream…Once upon a time,
 I had a real father that I can call mine!

Copyright © Steven Miller | Year Posted 2006

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Lavender Soap

Mother would tuck into each dresser drawer,
                      a bar of soap, to scent the clothes..
                          The familiar fragrance of English Lavender would fill the air
             
The small bedroom, a bit cramped..a bit shabby, but comfortably familiar.

The faded chintz curtains and the cover on the four poster, was a primrose yellow...
     and the wallpaper striped in blue and white.

         There would be marguerite daisies in a jug on the dressing table..
Next to a framed photo of five, smiling young cousins..
            all scrubbed, with shining faces, dressed for church, one Easter morning.

            Over on the north wall hung a painting of Willowby Pond...
                                    so pleasant to look at, just before falling to sleep.

Here I stand once again, having things so familiar, so much the same
     I take a deep breath, recalling the sense of home, the fragrance of lavender
           Like slipping into an old pair of slippers,
                     after spending the day wearing high heeled shoes






. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2009

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TRIMMING THE CHRISTMAS TREE WITH FAMILY HEIRLOOMS

Oh sanguine

lost hopes

and 

dreams

each ornament renews

kisses, laughter, loved ones remembered
each ornament renews
victories, struggles, from bounty to barren
each ornament renews
cradle to grave, sweet memories rush back
each ornament renews
strength to survive, with loved ones near
each ornament renews

oh sanguine

fresh hopes

and

dreams

each ornament renewed 


james marshall goff

Copyright © James Marshall Goff | Year Posted 2009

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Night Angel

They needed help
Walking alone in the dark.
The man.
The child.
A broken down car.
The child frightened,
But not understanding
The terror
That would soon
Come her way.
Her parents petrified
That their baby was gone,
Agonizing
Over forbidden images
That crowded their way
Past ice cream sundays
And birthday parties
And wedding days.
A passer-by.
A doer of good deeds.
He stops.
He sees.
He looks into
the little girl's eyes.
Bravely
The girl speaks,
"This is not my dad"
And the coward
who took her,
He runs.
He hides.
The passer-by,
Believing he saved
A child
From a long, cold walk,
In reality
Saved a child
From a long, cold death.

Copyright © Rachel Kovacs | Year Posted 2013

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The Bell My Mother Rang

The 18th of December was her last day;
she neither knew the date nor cared to.
Gathered at the hospital, keeping vigil,
we couldn't overcome her fright, or ours.
The pain, too great to be driven away,
was only "managed" with IV drips,
needles stuck in bruised appendages --
bony things -- arms and legs, hands and feet.
Above the medicines and washes, we sniffed
her scent, which, more than her yet familiar
face, to us identified our mother --
a smell we never would mistake
for any other. It went quickly
as her body cooled. The rouged and pickled
carcass they displayed was more a statue
than a person. We planned to bury her
with homely tokens, like an ancient mummy:
a family photo, a brooch she liked,
a pink hairbrush, and the brass bell she rang
to call her keeper during her last years.
But, when the time came, I could not bear
to have her leave so finally;
I took the bell from her metal box.
And, now, I ring it -- not to bring a keeper,
but to recall my mother on her birthday,
and on many dark days when I need her.

Copyright © Leo Larry Amadore | Year Posted 2011

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Deer

His family had lived here all their lives untold and he had too.

His father had died when he was young and he vaguely remembered him.

Mom tried to cross the busy street which she had been warned.

She had instantly been killed as her family watched with horror and fascination.

 

No funeral just sadness as the machines whizzed by but the last of his kind remembers.

As a youth, he had run and played in these fields but steered away from the machines 

as he had been warned.

The machines are fast and you must always watch for them and be clear.

The woods were loved as he chased the young females until they let him catch.

 

He had two of his own children but they had died at very young age.

And soon after, the big trucks came with the men that would be vilified.

They uprooted one hundred year old oak and built twenty homes.

Across the road where the field was, forty more were taken from his youth.

 

The last of his family had all been married out or were dead until he was alone.

And as he walked and looked, he was frightened and filled with grief.

He saw his mother standing gracefully at the top of the house filled field.

His brother and sister played until dusk when his mother would call and recall.

 

He ached  where he ran and still he searched.

As the tear rolled away with those distant memories and the pain.

Slowed by the ache he laid his final time with grief.

And he knew he was the last and his youth died with him.

 

 

 

 

The last deer

Copyright © Patrick Cornwall | Year Posted 2012

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Surprise Factor

    (Why I'm Still Breathing)

When the cow was dry, she was compliant.
When she calved, she turned vicious
and no fence could hold her,
but she gave milk in abundance,
and Dad refused to sell her.

She chased Mother 'round and 'round the barn
until Mom panicked, climbed the corner logs,
and perched under the roof,
clinging like a cicada shell on a weed-pod.
Beasty pawed and bellowed until Dad came home.
"I could gain on her on the corners,"
Mother said, "because I could turn faster,
but she gained on me on the straightaway."

Plug-ugly tore through the fence,
into the garden, where Mom and I worked.
"Run, Cona Faye, run," my mother shouted.
How did she know? The cow passed Mother
and thundered straight for me. I ran.

At the fence, snorts filled my ears. Hot breath
steamed my back. I saw myself stomped,
pulverized into the dirt. I turned, screaming 
at full volume, and flailed my arms
like a windmill in a strong wind.
That old red cow locked her front legs
and skidded like a freight train on full brake.

I seized the moment, and scaled that rail fence.

Copyright © Cona Adams | Year Posted 2014

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Birth, in a Quiet Room

“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 
holding.
     “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 –
     her son.
     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 
forever…”
     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.

Copyright © Kristin Reynolds | Year Posted 2009

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One Simple Twilight

Do we ever really notice them? Those rare and perfect moments? Do we pay enough attention? Do we care enough to keep them safely tucked away? It was summertime I'm not sure of the year We were sitting on our front porch steps Our children were playing in the yard The air was warm, the grass was green and fragrant The sun had disappeared over the trees, and the nearest hill The sky shone with hues of purple, pink and orange You pointed as a first star appeared Then reached for my hand, carressing it with the roughness of your thumb We never thought to get a camera Or to write about this particular moment in a journal We never mentioned it the next day....or the day after that.... Perhaps something we should have done Just so that we would never forget such a perfect twilight....
~ For Frank's Contest: "Stand Out Day" By Carrie Richards

Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2011

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William Kite, Sergeant Peppers Lonely Heartclub

 
~~~Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite~~~ An all round performer was Mr William Kite He trained and rode horses, but also walked the rope tight He worked for Pablo Fanqué the Wells Circus owner in 1842 But his work gave inspiration for John Lennon to do. Mr William Kite would never have dreamed. That his skills as a performer would inspire a song theme As he performed on his head, while balancing on a rope A trumpet in his mouth, and he played a damn fine note. When he was with John Sanger, who was equestrian minded William appeared for a spectacular night, the poster has reminded The celebrated horse called Zanthus was even there With Mr William Kite to perform - boy what a pair This poster impressed John Lennon so... It inspired him to write about William and the show Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite, the poster does show Inspired quite a few lyrics as all Beatles fans will know. What they may not know - but I am impressed There is a man called David with whom I am blessed He is the great great grandson of William by whom Lennon was inspired But better than that David is my half brother it has so transpired.
The Beatles Album Cover is "Sergeant Peppers Lonely Heartclub" which potrays the poster of Mr Kite

Copyright © Mandy Tams The Golden Girl | Year Posted 2012

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BROTHER - BILLY

It started growing in a field
Billy Stover watched it grow

Because the corn was tall
Because Billy Stover was small
No one knew
Now one saw

No one saw how the tiny boy watched by the hour    in summer's heat
Even from the top of high elm trees by the road
    who could have detected that small lad    stretched out
    on his stomach    leaning on his elbows    watching

On stormy days    Billy watched from the closest window
    elbows propped up on the sill
He knew it was growing    though he couldn't see it
He'd be down in the field now    in the mud    watching
    but    his mother forbade it
"What do you do out there    Billy    all by yourself?
What is it you do out there instead of playing?"

On certain days    when the wind swayed the green stalks
    and    nipped Billy's cheeks    his eyes would light up
He fought back a burning desire to run into the white kitchen
    to tug at his mother's apron    to bring her out
    and show her his one spot
He jumped up    once    when the flames leaped high
    started running for the house
"Mother!    Mother!"    he silently shouted
Every part of his small body shook with joy    but
The bleak    white walls of the kitchen
    his mother    her hands dipped in bread dough....................................

It started growing in the field    in the dirt    in the mind of Billy Stover
And    no one could have kept a secret better than Billy

Copyright © daver austin | Year Posted 2008

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Touching the Stars

The blue mood of silence, is there on the screen Not a whisper, no dialogue, just a hum that is found A celluloid reel, spinning backwards in time while flickering shadows, has hushed all the stars that watch through a curtain, while marking the years The soft ocean breezes are catching your hair. It frolics, embracing the blue dress you wear You are running barefoot along the incoming tide The beach is as smooth as the silk of your skin You are flying a kite in the swift summer sky You raise up your arm, and are waving at me A smile on your mouth, and a star in your eyes I can almost hear whispers, that come from afar shattering silence, without any sound The joy of it falls through the long winter years.... In voiceless, vague memory, to rest on my ears I follow along...as I'm watching you play Your lips ever moving....what is it you say? I find myself reaching... still, wanting to catch to set a small trap...and reach into the past I can't hear the chords,....nor the score to your song Or music I long for.....that is kept by the stars But, here in the heart of this moment, I grasp Like the kite reaching higher....while piercing the sky Weaving a magic...where joy never dies I watch how you hold to that kite in the sky... and cross over the threshold....no questions to ask... You've thrown a last kiss.....that I reach out to catch And for a moment together, .... we are touching the stars....
_____________________________________________________________

Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2011

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The One That Got Away

Every year our vacation was always the same. Two
weeks of fishing, playing, eating and being together 
on the river. We had no electricity, no TV, and we 
all loved it. The four cousins had time to get to know 
each other and to just be kids. In the woods, on the river,
building forts and damns, catching frogs, campfires,
and , of course, fishing.
One day, when everyone else had given up and the kids
were playing on the bank, I hooked on to a BIG one.
I started to scream and shout...they all gathered round
to urge me on, give me advise and to share my
glorious moment. My tackle was not rigged for
salmon, but we could soon tell that's what I had.
For at least 15 minutes I was a star, playing that
fish, back and forth, until he was close to the
bank and we could see that he was a monster..
a big reddish salmon. 
My niece, who was about 10, jumped into the
water to help me land him, and then, disaster struck.
He spit the hook, flashed his tail, and off he swam.
We all stood there in stunned silence..not knowing
whether to laugh of cry. I did a bit of each.
The story has become the stuff of legends, the story of
Aunti/Mom and the "one that got away"..really, its 
more the story of the bond of family and times that 
were so precious. 

For the One That Got Away contest...

Copyright © Barbara Gorelick | Year Posted 2011

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Longer Shadows of the Moon

He is caught between one life and another
while my pain lengthens like a shadow of the moon
We are like leaves, played with by the wind

O lengthening dark vision
reaching across our lives
It came, at last, without a sound...
his leave taking came without a word,
but we both heard it in the silence....

His world is in the palm of his hand
and my world is this moment that does not move

O furtuna, sternit fortem
O furtuna, rota tu volubillis

Never was he mine, never was he not mine
The child, no longer, child that bends and sways
My eyes reflect the clouds upon the sky
for he reaches out a hand upon my crown 
and I feel the gentle warmth upon my head

A knowing hand of man, not boy, that once I vowed to keep
must leave and know that I will weep
as if I am the child, ....not he,...instead 

O fortuna, velut luna 
Statu variabillis, semper crescis, aut decrescis;

I force a smile, and watch him fly away
Quod per sortem .... Sternit fortem,
never was he mine, never was he not mine






-----------------------------------
For Deb's Contest: Bi-Lingual
Latin translated
         ----
O Fortuna (O Fortune)
Velut luna (like the moon)
Statu variabilis (you are changeable)
Semper crescis (ever waxing)
Aut decrescis; (and waning;)                                
Quod per sortem (since Fate)
Sternit fortem, (strikes down the string)                     
 Rota tu volubilis, (you whirling wheel)
Corde pulsum tangite; (pluck the vibrating strings;)
Quod per sortem (since Fate)
Sternit fortem, (strikes down the string)

Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2012

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Deeply Rooted

'    

                 Heavy in my hand, it is the color of the earth
                 I feel within the weight of words
                 A family rooted, bound in leather
                 By generational latitudes
                 Now, linking me to names I never knew

Heavy on my mind, I search the laden book of names
And heavy was the lot, of those who tilled the loam
Color of the prairie earth, would change from rust to gold
As Kansas dust, would furrow brows and flourish, row, by row
And the hold it had ran through their blood, and has seeped into my own

I feel within my heart, sharp splinters from the plow
The weight of shoulders, tiring
From lifting me
Long before my hour came

Oh, for the power of these words 
To learn the names, that held the brush
That paints for me
This tree of life

Bound in leather, bound in love, a family's footsteps, tred
I feel the trace, in pages spread
Names inscribed, of birth and death
Of children lost, of hearts that bled

I feel the sense of who I am
Between the threads 
Frayed and thin, within these bindings
Yet holding firm
Confirming what’s been said
By generational latitudes
Linking me to names I never knew


"""""""""""""""""""

Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2012

Details | Narrative | |

A Blind Sunset

He glances out the window,
And watches the sunset,
But he doesn’t see the beauty,
Nor the warm rays which, 
Pierces through the glass,
Only the anticipation and, 
Anxiety of a long night,

Carefully, he watches, 
The colors change,
First the bright orange, 
"God I pray this never ends…"
Filling with a deep red,
"Just a little while longer…"
Slowly softening to the, 
Deceptive pinks and purples,
"Please, one more minute…"
Fading into the crimson black,
Which only night can bring,

Reluctantly, he gets ready for sleep,
Yet, knows it will never come,
He tossed and turns,
Half praying, half waiting,
Knowing what will happen,
In the way only a child can,

A light! It peeks through a crack,
In the door as a shadow floods the opening,
Quickly, the figure slips through the door,
And shuts it softly, but not without the,
Empty creak which has become so familiar,
The shadow climbs in beside him,
Touching his trembling leg, whispering,

“Hush little brother, it’ll be alright,
While I’m here, have no fear,
I’ll keep you safe tonight,”

He struggles and writhes,
Sadly knowing he will never,
Break the grip and prays to faint,
To loss all consciousness and,
Memory of that horrible night,
Just for one night without the pain,
Just for one night without, 
The cold empty feeling, 

Several years pass, too many to count, 
A single call, one he had never expected,
He rushes to the hospital to find, 
His tormentor for so many years,
Lying on a cold, hard bed,
Able to move, but only by pushing a button,
Able to speak, but only with a whisper,

He stays by him for weeks, caring for him,
Reading to him, watching over him,
Still suffering, still unable to move, 
He takes his brother home, 

The day goes on, moving slow as all,
The evening comes and he,
Watches once more as the sun sets,
Carefully watching, Orange to red,
Red to purple, and as the purple turns to black,
He walks into the room where his brother lies,
Slowly, he sits next to him, holding a pillow,
Stroking his head whispering,

“Hush big brother, it’ll be alright,
While I’m here, have no fear,
I’ll keep you safe tonight,”

The difference between right and wrong,
Can be hard to find,
But who’s there to see you,
When justice is blind?


Copyright © Ian Sylvester | Year Posted 2006

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Evacuation and Loss

The night shone for the full moon,
Sky brewing a coarse monsoon,
Bolted were windows, locked were doors,
The frequency of death frighteningly soared.
But who was this infant high upon the hill?
He denied the storm and just stood stone still,
Eyes shut like blinds and fingers dug into ground,
Felt he could move no muscle, for was sadly street bound.
Shutting his eyes, arms wrapped tight round
His skinny body, battered and browned
Praying for the sake of friends, family and all
However imaginary, he imagined them call
 “Boy, come to us we love you most”
“Our love for you is bigger than the Canadian coast”
“Do not cry, remember our love”
Joining their gaze in the beyond above,
He softly mumbled a song to forget,
The once daily song that was always a duet,
Alone on that hill without any feel,
Of an afterlife he finally accepted, wasn’t real
Tears met the floor, now bathed in yellow light,
As lightning struck him too quick to fright,
Child lay on the floor, dismembered and black,
Though his mouth was smiling and his happiness had come back,
As re-joined with family, head held high, 
He waved his tortured existence goodbye.
Hugging his mum and his dad the same,
Somehow put an end to the incessant rain,
The natives emerged from their homes, safe and sound,
The boy crying for happiness at the new life he had found.
Soul peering at his body, dead at age eleven,
Holding family’s hands they could finally pass on and join heaven. 
The touch of their skin brought old emotion,
 Parents who were torn betwixt war and devotion,
A child whom they gave their best shot,
By train to board and bomb to not.
The grave of the boy with the electric crown,
Who carried a burden he couldn’t live down,
Stood proud in the yard of cobbles and stones,
For everyone knew those were a heroes bones,
When you look into the sky on a stormy night,
Remind yourself of the boy’s plight.
As he is the clouds that damper weather,
Out to protect his town, children altogether,
He wanted a life for them around,
That didn’t consist of being mentally wound,
A life that he could never possess,
But he did not bathe in spiralling depress.
Life is sacred, upon that hill,
Those cobbles and stones bring great goodwill,
For the sun only shines on that grassy land,
Still holding marks of the boy’s humble hand,
Some say that the yearly rain,
Is him up above, the tears of a chain.
The chain of the tears shed on that night,
Of the fear and happiness’ conventional recite,
Up above, being tucked under the covers,
Is a little boy with an injury he recovers,
Mother kisses his head and says her goodnight,
Father over bed, comforting a nightmare fright.
Drifting off, the boy could hear,
A little rhyme to calm his fear,
“Boy, come to us we love you most”
“Our love for you is bigger than the Canadian coast”
“Do not cry remember our love-“
The young man rose slowly in his bed,
Opened his eyes and smiled as he said
“I’m here”

Copyright © Nichola Vincent | Year Posted 2014

Details | Narrative | |

Coming Home

As I gaze out the upstairs window, it feels like yesterday
It is early, and a burst of sun gleams through the branches of the Cottonwood tree

It's not there anymore....
  that string of washing that used to wave on the clothesline, 
            looking like colorful flags flapping in the wind....
                      and I wonder...who does that anymore...hangs their wash?

Doves are still strutting on the cobbled path, cooing their song....
                   or perhaps complaining about the chill of the October morn...

I look about the room,... 
        Right there, that's where marguerite daisies sat in a jug on the dressing table
             next to a framed photo of five, smiling young cousins...
                 Scrubbed and shining faces, dressed for church one Easter morning, long ago

The faded chintz curtains, and the cover on the four poster is a pale primrose yellow
        And the wallpaper is striped in blue and white....
               It all looks a bit more worn, but still rather pretty

The bedroom is small,....a bit cramped, and a bit shabby, but comfortably familiar
Over on the north wall hangs a painting of Willowby Pond...
           so pleasant to look at, just before falling to sleep...

Mother would tuck into each dresser drawer, a bar of soap....to scent the clothes
     I recognize the fragrance of English Lavender, still lingering in the air...
            even though she has been gone these many years...

Here I stand again, having things so familiar, ...so much the same...yet changed..

I take a deep breath, recalling the sense of home, the fragrance of lavender
                     and the sound of the doves...
                                Like slipping into an old pair of slippers
                                     after spending the day wearing high heeled shoes....

Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2010

Details | Narrative | |

The Bottomless Pit

From the bottom of an abandoned gravel pit
behind my childhood home, seated, 
leaning against its hardpacked sandy side,
he watched the July sun set,
the empty prescription bottle at his side.

Did he walk that day to his unnatural fate
slowly, shoulders rolling like a big cat,
alternating first one, then the other, 
forward, head bent, one black errant
curl tumbling across his troubled forehead.

Did he hesitate or did he hurry
and did he think of me, just 12,
soon to be fatherless, before he
began his two weeks of decomposing
in the hot Texas sun until
the man on horseback found him
while looking for a lost calf. 

I couldn't blame my mother 
for the divorce she filed.
I had wanted him to leave, too,
and hadn't I prayed he would die
when he dragged her over the yard,
by a handful of her hair clasped
tightly in his fist,
because she had cut it without his permission.
		
Especially the next day when I found
the clump of auburn hair caught in the lush 
purple blooms of the wisteria bush,
I wanted him to die.

He played his harmonica for me,
and I sang, "Daddy's Little Darling, 
Don't you think I'm sweet?"
But I prayed my dad would die,
and though I asked God to ignore those
prayers of terror, I will never be able to
love enough wayward men to save my dad.


Copyright © Emerson Adkins | Year Posted 2012

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A Soldier's Wife

Today is the beginning of her new life
the sorrow and pain of a soldier's wife
Her life was changed in the blink of an eye
and God only knows the reason why
Her love for him will never change
Her promise made when she took his name
Beside him bravely she will stand
to comfort him and hold his hand
As she prepares for their changing life
God will take care of a soldier's wife

Copyright © Christy Hardy | Year Posted 2007

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Butter Toffee

"Love comes in many flavors....but the taste of it, is unforgettable"

It makes a very large batch.
And when I finish, there will be
Enough for my family, my friends, and quite possibly
Everyone who lives on our street.

On my tiled kitchen counter
I have gathered..according to the recipe,
The butter, the sugar, the corn syrup,
Nuts and chocolate...all the necessary delectable
Ingredients to make my mother's
Melt-in-the-mouth butter toffee.
    I make it every Christmas, a family favorite, 
    Like a legacy that must be passed on...
    A futile attempt to lighten a dark hour ...of long ago.
                                   ~                       
A new bride then, with inexperience my middle name.. 
In a tiny kitchen of blue and white 
I was frocked in frilly yellow, wearing the apron she had sewn
An apron with color as warm as the butter assembled before me
My task, was to follow the step by step instructions
A recipe, written in her hand 
Letters so blurred by tears that had taken up new residence in my life
The curls of her handwriting
Wrapping 'round me like the sound of her voice...
A little page from her vast collection..
Wrinkled and yellowed, with speckles, and splatters 
Yellow splatters, reminding me of days of my childhood
A childhood of naivete', believing still, in a sun that would forever shine for me...
When I had so much yet to learn

    But this was that ghastly year, ....that first Christmas,... without her...
    It was up to me, determined to carry on
    ...A simple recipe,     ....couldn't be that hard...could it?

My novice effort, in those first months without her
Was a disappointment.  Just not the same as hers, 
Faintly scorched, the taste...no delight, in the offering...
People were polite, accepted it, and ate it to be kind.
They smiled, patted my head, gave compliments...  
But I knew.
                         
And, as time passed,..experience taught me.  Experience heals.
My toffee is good. Quite good...delicious, actually...
Still not the same as hers, but my family thinks it's fine.
I, however, know better. 
     I Have always known.
                         
Today...I melt the butter, I add the sugar, and the syrup
Stirring while the mixture turns to amber.  It won't take long.
My family waits....waits eagerly to savor the sweet flavor
      The flavor of butter, the flavor of chocolate

                              the flavor of enduring love..........that was my mother.







Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2008

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Family Camp

It was a special time of life
With my children and my wife
In a tent among the trees
At a place called Camp Louise

Sitting around a campfire Friday night
And the big old moon was shining bright
Putting marshmallows on stick ends
Just sitting, talking with some friends

Telling stoories about an old black bear
Trying to give the kids a scare
The stars were shining high above
A time filled with laughter and with love.

With our energy all spent
We crawled into our tent
The bags were musty and the tent was damp
But we loved it there at family camp

In the morning right after daybreak
You could find us boating on the lake
As we moored the boat along the pier
Right behind the shed, we saw a deer

Two more days of playing in the sun
Fishing, hiking, having fun
Plenty of food and a campfire at night
For a few days a year, the world was right.

Those days are gone and our children grown
We wonder where the time has flown
But no matter how far apart we'll be
We will always have that memory.

Copyright © Vince Suzadail Jr. | Year Posted 2007

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My Mom

Dear God, how did You sleep.
I had a dream and it made me weep.
Did You see it, it was so real.
I think it might even help me heal.

Anyway that dream last night 
sure was kind of cool.
Except for the times  
I acted the fool.

I was a whole lot younger
then I am now.
I was talking with my mom
and I was wondering how?

We sat at the kitchen table
and she had on that grin. 
The one that always told me.
I know where you've been.

I could talk to her 
about anything I ever did.
Not only when I grew up
But since I was a little kid.

She was the only one
on this whole entire earth.
Who made me feel like I belonged.
Who gave me a sense of worth.

We talked for hours.
We laughed and we cried.
I didn't leave the table 
till the day that she died.

It was a roller coaster ride 
of every high and low I could feel.
Then Lord You got out the projector
and then You put on the reel.

We watched home movies
and most of it was good.
You would fast forward
those parts that you should.

There was this one scene
where Jesus had a part.
Remember when I asked for Him 
to come into my heart?

On a scale of 1 to 10
I would give it a ten.
But there was this one time 
I don't remember when??

When I asked for Jesus to come into my heart
He walked right in like He belonged.
But what I didn't know then 
was that He walked in with my mom.

Copyright © Allan Granstrom | Year Posted 2009