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.
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
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
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."
Your face and rotting teeth and heavy jowls
and sunken breasts with bulging waist and
Your image of laughter, lovemaking, seeking
bourbon tweaked philosophies
of life begins
The hands that tremble as you tilt
the glass that begins another
Tirade thoughts, empty lies, money spent on
lipstick coated leeches who prey on
Through these wintry days pass faces long past
into what was then
while with the coming spring ...
at last! at last!
One can remember
and want no more
what could never be:
There's two orphans in Heaven just walking about the land
Just pulling on coattails, trying to grab a hand
They sometimes look down the wishing-well, beyond the clouds,
trying to find their mommy there walking within the busy crowds.
Each time their tears fall they land right down on me
And it reminds of the babies, whom I never got to see.
So if you're getting tired and your walk here is nearly through,
Please come here and find me, to take these words with you:
Tell them, I do love them and I desire to hold them even now
But I have their brothers here, so my heart doesn't know how
If you see them in passing please kiss them both...Times three
'Cause those two lil' orphans in Heaven, well they belong to me.
Tell them to just keep watching us, and when my time is through,
I'll meet them at the wishing well, and make our dreams come true.
“Good-bye my daughter dear,” she said
As tears welled up in her eyes
“It’s time for me to go to sleep
This must be no surprise
The good Lord knows my battles
And my health is ailing still
He’s given me so many blessings
I’ve passed them to you in my will
I’m sad to say good-bye
For we have shared much joy
Remember me to Sarah
My grandchild I love and enjoy
I love you my daughter
These years together have been sweet
I’m so glad you love the Lord
And again we will meet
I’m not afraid of dying
‘Cause I know that in a while
Christ will call me from my grave
I feel my life has been worthwhile
For I taught you to seek your Father
To help you through every trial
He’ll always be there to guide you
With never a denial
I leave you in His hands”, she said
As she gently kissed her daughter’s hand
Her eyes closed very slowly
Against cancer she’d lost her stand
She’d been a wonderful mother
Teacher and true friend
Faithful to her Lord
And gracious to the end.
Copyright © Maureen LeFanue 2007-2012
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 see 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.
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
There's an old upright,
standing tall, against the wall,
no one plays it much anymore
as it sits there in silence, out on the old sun porch
But I can imagine it quite regal in its prime, shiny and new
And age has turned the varnish yellow
The veneer, a bit buckled, and the bench has been repaired
With clamps and screws, and Elmer’s wood glue
A relic from another time, although the
sound has not changed throughout the years
and tears have spilled upon the keys
There's one key that sticks, and three more are chipped...
If only time could skip…backwards to then…
To when my mother and I sat side by side
together,.... playing “The Blue Danube”.
Her hands over mine, pointing out the key of C
And what I do see,... still in my mind….,
are the blue veins of her hands
and hearing the waltz, a bit off key
(It needed tuning…it always did, it never mattered, it never will)
I was small…my fingers couldn’t reach them all,
those pock marked, scarred, and magic keys
But the measure of Johann Strauss would bounce off the walls…
She would hum into my ear…
Her soft brown hair would mix with mine
I could smell Breck shampoo, and feel her breath upon my cheek
And the music, soft and sweet, classic light…from that old Upright...
A simple tune…the waltz of time
that has played on and on... long beyond her life
and will play on long beyond my own…
Recited on youtube..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Huza5He36b0
The blue mood of silence, is there on the screen
Not a whisper, not a word, just a humming is heard
The sound of the reel, spinning backwards in time
Little bird sounds, ticking away
Open the curtain, on one special day
A backdrop of childhood that bends time again
I am watching the ocean breeze catch your hair
It frolics, embracing you in the gauzy blue dress you wear
You are running barefoot in the sand, alongside the incoming tide
The beach is as smooth as the silk of your skin
Flying a kite in the swift summer sky
You are raising your hand
And you wave at me....
There is laughter in your face, in your eyes, in the way that you race....
I can almost hear the sweet sound of it ring in the gloom
It shatters the silence of this cold winter's room
The joy of it falls through the years....
It falls in voiceless wonder, to rest on my tears
I follow along...watching you play
Your lips are moving....what is it you say?
I find myself reaching...wanting to catch
Set a small trap...somehow reach into the past
Where are the chords,...the notes....the score to that song?
This music I long for.....forevermore gone?
But no....................the heart of it...the heart of your laugh
Never can vanish ...it still sails....it still lasts...
Like the kite reaching higher....it pierces the sky
Weaving a magic...and a joy that can't die
I watch how you hold on....that kite in the sky...
Before me in silence....you wave and you laugh...
Then you throw me a kiss.....that I'm trying to catch
I can hear silent laughter......that my heart wants to grasp
And for a moment together, .... we are touching the stars....
"Left With a Kiss"
I used to look at your wrinkly hands
And see the veins follow routes like a map
Your fingers shook like a spayed chihuahua on the piano keys
Demonstrating the chord in which I was supposed to play after you
I was thinking instead about the stool we were sharing
How old and fragile the wooden piece was
The green-blue floral padding faded and worn
The chipped, wobbly legs
That creaky sound when you repositioned...
And I was praying it wouldn't collapse under our bodies
Your voice was gentle and calm
Softly pushing me back to my practice
and my fingers played that bright G Chord
“Very good,” You praised with a smile
Your voice so small and lightly faded
But still loving and pleasant
You explained to me arpeggios and broken chords
And I was glad it was you explaining it
I remember yelling at my dad
And throwing a big tantrum over playing “Allouette”
His straight harsh voice cut my fingers off the keys
As he ordered me to pay attention
Watching his hairy fingers demonstrate the left hand
And then the right
Pressing loudly and ramming the song into my every being
And I remembered
I was never concerned about making him angry
I would laugh if he made a mistake in teaching
Or if he stumbled on his words - which was frustratingly rare
I would scream if he corrected me
And yet I was determined for his praise
That he never gave
Your son loved music like you
And he wanted me to love it just like him
In an annoyed kind of way, I obliged
But I would make him suffer for forcing it on me
Even if I couldn't deny it was something I would always love
We never have our piano lessons anymore, Grandma
But I will never forget how you taught me
That stool remains in the room
It hasn't been sat on for days
And it took far more than mere days
To receive from your son…true praise
But that’s okay
I will pray it collapses under his body
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
Gone are the fields of winter white
soon to be replaced by hues of greens and yellows,
in the interim, fields of barren brown and dirty gold
turned, to breathe warm air from departed winter chill
Plumes of black and gray from mans machine
kneading the back of Mother Earths desire,
before impregnating her with the many seeds
that will produce offspring to quench mans many needs
oh, how lonesome she looks, so alone
holding yet to some remnants of children past,
left only to cradle her dead, left by man
yearning to suckle new life, as only a Mother can
Above, from the heavens, Father prepares
to germinate those so many seeds,
with life sustaining necessities only he is allowed
sunlight and life giving rain, loosened from the clouds
within days Mother is impregnated
she can feel the multitudes of organic life,
moving within her womb, yearning,growing, needing
the escape, to be warmed and nourished by the Sun
Minutes turn to hours, hours to days
suddenly weeks pass,and yet another life,
giving rain, descends from guilded clouds
arms and fingers, of her children, open, sustained
nearing the end of a warm and wonderful summer
it is time for Fathers other children,
to reap what he has sewn
time for Mother Earth to let her children go
My, how they have grown, tall,lush and full
of the fruit they were meant to bear,
to provide nourishment for the masses of seeds
grown to maturity, in need from the father
Again, the gray black plumes of mans machine
come to life, they move through her fields,
her children, like a predator among prey
until, she is left again, with remnants of children past
Soon she will be blanketed again in winter white
gone will be the warm breath of life,
her children taken from her, she is again barren
only to be betrothed to a promise of new life.
I wrote this on a day trip to Illinois from Iowa across wide open farm land.
My grandfather on my father’s side, was a pecker-toothed sidle who raped his
daughter when she was just ten. He threw down vodka from an eternal well and took my father out to buy prostitutes when he was just fifteen... It was here that my father first learned the true value of a woman. Mercifully, a permanent steel brace got loose at the Pennsylvania steel mill where he worked and crushed Grandfather into a pool of blood and urine.
My father was a dried seed rattling in an empty gourd… he had grown up
hardened with leather-stiff roots exposed too long in the sun. My mother knew
that he wanted to rape me, so I kept guard with knives and ran away whenever I could. I went to bed fantasizing how to sneak into his bedroom and kill him with
the kitchen carving knife.
My older brother hadn’t adjusted well to the chaos either, so he put all his expectations and dreams into a matchbook and burned down three houses in the neighborhood. He secretly, robbed his friends of their valuable coin collections. He grew weary and confessed and was taken to a local Mental Hospital for evaluation. At fourteen, I needed a good stiff drink! I was transferred to two different foster care homes and grew up like a weed.
My mother Dolly was an auburn haired porcelain bisque, matt finished doll from a
discriminating collections of dolls... her father's dolls. She was not a witty woman
but silent, afraid and alone. She gave birth to three children who grew up like
wild dogs while Dolly made Betty Crocker weekends and otherwise TV dinners
until she grew tired... very tired.
One day the brothers were playing with Dolly tossing her back and forth…
like a ball, one to another... until we dropped her. Fragile, she shattered into pieces
on the gray cement patio. My father came out determined to put the pieces back
together but clumsily, he repeatedly stepped on Dolly crushing the refined
fragments into powdered dust.
A Fountain for Carmela....
In the village of Santa Maria, high in the mountains lived a little girl named Carmela. It has
always been the tradition of the women to carry water from the well no matter how far and bring
it home. This was done sometimes twice a day.
It was another beautiful morning as the Sun began to rise. Outside the front door, brightly
colored Parrots were singing sweet songs as Carmela’s mother, Esperanza, prepared the
morning meal of tortilla’s, black beans and sweet coffee. Carmela so enjoyed sitting next to her
mother by the cooking fire. This was her time, alone with her mother, learning how to tend the
fire and grind the maze that she loved the most.
As her Mother dipped her ladle into the water jug, it was plain to see that it was almost empty.
Carmela looked into the jug and asked….
"Mama, can I carry the water today?" Little Carmela asked, she was so happy to be old enough
to do such a thing. Her mother had taught her how to balance the jug on top of her head just
right, so as not to spill even drop on their many trips to the well. But the well was half a day’s
walk down the mountain and back and she had never gone all by herself. It was a hard task for
sure but her familia needed water for cooking and cleaning.
The story I have to tell- was told long ago to me,
About the creation of the Potawatomi Nation;
In the beginning the Creator made Anishabe,
And the Creator told Anishabe to name all of his creations,
Anishabe set out with a wolf, his companion,
And he went around naming everything;
From the mountains and the canyons,
To the Summer and the Spring;
He became lonely realizing, he alone had no mate,
And as he traveled everywhere searching,
He traveled towards the Great Lakes;
And there he heard a woman singing,
Her song was a thing of beauty,
About the home she was making for them;
Anishabe crossed the lake to meet her, finally,
The daughter of the Firekeeper-And quite a gem
Their’s was the first unity bond, It is where life came from;
Of each other they were inordinately fond;
Their union gave life to four sons,
Each of their sons went a different way,
The First son traveled North, it’s color is White, henceforth;
Given the first gift of the Creator-sweet grass-braided in a bouquet,
He married the daughter of the Spirit of the North;
The second sun traveled East, into the rising sun,
He learned that fire is the essence of life;
He was given the second gift-herbs to speak with the One,
East is the color Yellow, East’s daughter became his wife;
The third son traveled South, known as “The Way of The Woman”,
The way of seeds and all that give life, the color of South is Red;
He was given the gift of cedar-to purify and prepare food for his clan
And to the daughter of the Spirit of the South he was wed.
The last son traveled west, towards the mountain highlands,
He learned that the setting sun represents the circle of life;
Black is the color of West-Sage was the gift for his hands,
Married to the Spirit of the West’s daughter, Black stands for strife.
This is the story of the Creator, That my Grandmother told to me,
How my culture was started, And what our banner means.
~I've been holding on to this a while-Hope you enjoy the beginning of my culture~
~3rd Place in the "Broad Horizons" Contest by Deborah Guzzi~
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.
Here she comes, walking with pride.
Her face is so vibrant, she looks so alive.
Nothing can stop her, no one dares to try.
Her entire life is corroded with deals, tricks, and lies.
Her beauty is everything, her smile kills all
It brings down the strongest men, makes the highest building fall.
But when she comes home,
The story does change.
Her life’s not so perfect,
The positions rearrange.
Her father's an alcoholic, and not very nice.
She has a brother who gave up on school, and can’t read or write
Of all of her family, her mother is the worse.
Sometimes she wonders if she'll survive this curse.
He mother yells,and tells her that she's no good.
She would give it all up, if only she could.
At the end of the night she goes into her room,
She begins to weep, and eventually cries herself to sleep.
She wakes up the next day,
Puts on a happy face,
And goes to school as if nothing happened the previous night,
Or that absolutely nothing is wrong with her life.
So now that you’ve seen what’s behind the closed door,
I hoped you’ve thought about this girl a little more.
With the utmost respect,
I present to you, the life of someone "perfect".