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The Old Homestead

Orphaned footsteps round the old place.
Pitch black soil, packed deep with bartered
coin and Indian heads – wood and otherwise,

coat her worn leather shoes, Hutterite chic. 
The long land screams within its own silence.
Prairie sage burns somewhere, a ghostly smudge

for the undulating grass and, those it serves.
Its alive scent makes the dead turn towards 
its head - and the barely living turn to listen. 

The impossibly endless horizon holds its bright 
blue at bay, begging acknowledgement for 
its self-professed being and looming enormity.

She looks at the broken window glass and 
through the tattered, delicate gray lace. “Those 
were hers.” She whispers to the one who listens. 

This great-great-granddaughter sees the curtains 
as they once were – wistful in the hot Manitoba 
wind; fresh and lowing with the honest elemental 

scent of aspens, hope and bare-knuckle wash boards; 
always fresh; shifting in the cry for solace in summer 
shadows – never as still as this moments endlessness.

Blowing through the deep brown of splintered pine 
front doors; cracking the announcement of cast iron, 
rot and burnt wood comes the simple statement of – 

I lived. This mother of five young does not cry, 
just yearns to walk in the old ones footsteps;
to know them loved; hear the birdsong through

unbroken bedroom windows for a 5am waking; 
feel the resistance of dough on fingers that beg 
to be broken, and kiss the twisting undead, living. 


The burning of the noonday sun taps her whole,
marking; branding her pale Swedish skin its own.
The red sting of burnt breaks her inward silence, 

welcoming her familiar face home.




© Kristin Reynolds 3 29 2009

*Reposted for John's Summer Celebration Contest. This is a personal celebration; 
celebrating and honoring my great grandparents who settled in Manitoba after leaving 
Sweden and Denmark. This celebrates the summer of family, at least for me. We went there 
every summer until it was gone...

Copyright © | Year Posted 2009




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Date: 5/27/2009 7:08:00 AM
CONGRATULATIONS on being placed first in Johns contest, a lovely written piece...kindest thoughts, Anna-Marie.
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Date: 5/25/2009 6:38:00 PM
Congratulations on your 1st Place finish in John's contest, Kristin. This is a profoundly beautiful write as I said on 3/29 and it is truly deserving to be posted somewhere in Manitoba ... smile ...
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Date: 5/25/2009 2:04:00 PM
Thanks, guys. :) Deborah - verse 1 in question: that's me wishing I could be beside them kneeding the bread; wanting the pain of hardness; feel the grind of the pioneer, and kiss my ancestors who watch with ghosts eyes, alive again. Verse 2 in question:sun enters my soul, soothing me in unreachable places, branding (burning) me pure light/soul/energy/alive - giving me reciprical life. branding me a child of sun/life. Question #3-sun relights my darkness/sadness; I smile, as it welcomes me home.
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Date: 5/24/2009 2:26:00 PM
CONGRATULATIONS on your first place win! Wonderful write! Laura :)
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Date: 5/24/2009 1:02:00 PM
Congratulations, this is a beautiful piece =)
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Date: 5/24/2009 9:14:00 AM
wonderful verse! some parts I didn't get and please soup mail me..."on fingers that beg to be broken, and kiss the twisting undead" and "The burning of the noonday sun taps her whole,marking; branding her pale Swedish skin its own.The red sting of burnt breaks her inward silence" ..I can see the sun sapping her? & how does the burnt (sun burn I know) break her..inward silence? (I can see her ouching outwardly?) Light & Love
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Date: 5/24/2009 6:41:00 AM
Breathtaking write. An extremely well deserved First Place win! CONGRATS KRISTIN!!!! Love, Shar
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Date: 5/24/2009 12:32:00 AM
Congrats on your success in John's contest.Kristin Rgds Brian
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Date: 5/23/2009 7:19:00 PM
Wonderful writing Kristen. Worth of being the winner.in any contest. Love, Joyce
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Date: 5/23/2009 6:02:00 PM
Excellent choice for a win in John's contest!!! Hooray for you!!!! :)
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Date: 5/23/2009 12:44:00 PM
Congrats
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Date: 5/14/2009 1:47:00 PM
Oh Kristin, another gem. With it being family orientated, it must have been a buzz writing this, just lovely, James.
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Date: 4/4/2009 11:46:00 AM
This is amazing...beautiful, rich images and language from a brilliant mind! Wow, is all one can say.:) A wonderful tribute to roots. Love, Sara
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Date: 4/4/2009 9:00:00 AM
Thank you for your blog comment today Kristin & for your kind words.Rgds Brian
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Date: 4/4/2009 12:56:00 AM
this is what poems are made for, capturing moments. Theres a sadness in your voice here, like an underlying grief, and yet rejoicing a moment of realisation and being loved. Wonderfully descriptive painting such a picture I felt I was almost there, imagining all. Very clever and certainly one for you to treasure...
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Date: 3/31/2009 10:36:00 AM
This is a beautful memoir, Kristen! The imagery is rich and your poetic voice is outstanding! An excellent piece! Good luck! Love, Robn
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Date: 3/30/2009 2:36:00 PM
....although I am quite certain, that You would have much grandeur plans, then to be wasted with someone such as I!?:) This was/is a very wonderful loving write Kristin~Filled with the beauties of "Your Precious Heart & Soul!!!":)~"My Love As Always To 'You & Your Loves, John!:)~"Have A Very Beautiful Day Dear!:)
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Date: 3/30/2009 2:29:00 PM
Ahh, yes, sometimes I feel as though, I can just reach out, and touch "Your Beautiful Soul!":)~One that I can often feel, whenever I read "Your Wonderful Words!:)~If I could ever choose a writer to confide in, or collaborate with? It would be "You" I do believe!:)~That is how much I admire the many different qualities of Your abilities as a writer, and Your character I believe!:)....cont....
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Date: 3/30/2009 8:33:00 AM
Truly an evocative poem Kristin... though personal to you, it conjures up some astounding imagery for the reader .... remarkable writing.... ! Thanks Kristin for your recent comments
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Date: 3/29/2009 8:27:00 PM
What a beautiful tribute to your family and such a wonderfully rich history you have. Traditions ground us with love and remembrances. Very moving write Kristin.
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Date: 3/29/2009 2:26:00 PM
Truly a beautiful and remarkable tribute, Kristin!! This writing sings and it has a very Native American feel to its rhythm and it brings to mind how one we really all are ... smile ... I would love to visit Canada some day ...
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Date: 3/29/2009 8:39:00 AM
Best wishes with this one Kristin.Missed it first time around.A winner in my book.Such imagery in this vignette especially..scent of aspens, hope and bare-knuckle wash boards'. Would make a script for a great short film so one for my favourites.This is your style.Unforgettable.Rgds Brian & thanks for your welcome comments
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Date: 3/29/2009 8:32:00 AM
Awesome write that took me on a journey through your footsteps..love the history and how you masterfully painted it...the tenth verse is my favorite...five am waking..fingers that beg...sweet write Kristin and thanks for the love this morning.
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Date: 3/29/2009 8:11:00 AM
Love the way you chronical your family's history in the quaint homestead they shared for many years. This poem is a priceless family treasure! Thank you for sharing it with us, Kristin.
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Date: 3/29/2009 7:56:00 AM
Hi Kristin Hun, Man oh man the way you use words!once again I'm left in awe. This poem is such a beautiful tribute to your great grandparents. You honor them with your words love and timeless embrace. Love ya Love Light Truth Patricia
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