For Sunday’s Whirligig: Wordle #25
birthday, pared, dazzling, weapons, sparks, move,
eroding, rot, stumps, resentments, choking, gate
For The Sunday Whirl: Wordle #217
evict, nick, trick, valley, threat, scent,
dash, deny, try, subside, flee, free
For Poets United: Poetry Pantry #270
We must be willing to get rid
of the life we planned, so as to have
the life that is waiting for us.
The single birthday I remember clearly,
was my fortieth. Most of the others are lost.
Some deep valley of denial? Trick of mind?
Closing gates of memory, eroding every scent
or sight of a spark in personal experience?
A few, no more than nicked stumps, choked growth
lacking movement, or dashing moments, which
would allow them to exist even in pared down
fashion. Pulled forward, they swiftly subside,
as if to flee any threat from further exposure.
Neither evicted, nor seen as rotted by a sense
of resentment, they simply hold no flame
to compare with that one dazzling evening.
When, with new found weapons of freedom,
I let go of the life someone else had planned
and truly embraced the one that was waiting.
Elizabeth Crawford 9/20/15
Notes: Purely biographical. When I got the two word lists, the only word that jumped out at me was birthday. So, I put them away and let them sit. But, that word had me thinking about the fact that in a few months I’ll turn 70 (whew!) Then trying to remember others and realizing I don’t remember them. Only a few, because I’ve written birthday poems for some. Except for my fortieth. Newly divorced, I had recently rented a small house for myself and youngest children. I was a junior in college, so on the spur of the moment, wanting to celebrate, I invited some of my friends from school to a very casual Bring Your Own Bottle party. The numbers grew and one of those friends invited my adviser and mentor. He accepted and brought his wife and a bottle of wine. I had warned everyone that the house was small and that most would be sitting on the floor. We watched two Monty Python movies: The Meaning of Life, and The Life of Brian. There was lots of laughter as we sang along with the music, and afterward had a wonderful conversation about poetry and Walt Whitman. After most of them had departed, I overheard a conversation between two of my women friends, who were standing in the kitchen, while I sat in the over-stuffed rocker in the living room, finishing off a small bottle of Zinfandel, one of them had gifted to me. “Should we be worried about Elizabeth? She’s gone very quiet, but is smiling.” There was a brief silence. “She’s fine, just dreaming about her new Elizabeth life.” For months afterward, when any of us would meet in the coffee shop or cafeteria, we’d start singing, Always Look On The Bright Side of Life…
Image is a bonfire photograph put through the kaleidoscope app.