For NaPoWriMo: Day 20
wild, easy, graceless, hands, same, unkind
For Six For Wednesday
strips, tight, drums, grave, signs, shattering
Sometimes A Wilderness
Haven’t visited your grave in a long time.
Isn’t meant as an unkindness. No longer
own a car, so have to depend on tight
schedules of others.
Wrote you into a poem yesterday, it was
easy to do, as strips of memory constantly
play through curious brain. Signs of you
surround me daily. Your photo prominent
on my desk, hands wrapped around your
harmonica, playing You Are My Sunshine,
at your 90th birthday party. Shattering ideas
of age as a graceless thing. You probably
wouldn’t like the poem. Put the black wolf
in it as well. The one from the poster that
hung on my bedroom wall. When you saw
it, all you said was, “I don’t like him.”
You tried so hard to drum that ‘wild’ streak
from my ‘passionate’ personality. And yet,
you are the same one who showed me that
it is never too late to begin, to become one
who dances to her own heartbeat.
Elizabeth Crawford 4/20/16
Notes: This is a direct outcome of yesterday’s poem. The minute I saw Brenda’s list, and the word grave, the first verse came pounding into my head like the hoof beats of wild horses. And I was back to yellow again. My Mother passed away six years ago on April 30th. She is in my thoughts daily and I often find myself talking to her quietly.
Musical Inspiration from the 1sojournal prompt:
Image is the photo mentioned in the poem. We, her children, were all aware of the harmonica that was kept in the kitchen junk drawer. We just didn’t know that our mother played it with quite a lot of skill, something she learned from her father. We were middle-aged by then. She sang with a sweet high soprano voice, and often harmonized with me and her baby sister (other woman in the photo) and the one I was named after. At age 63, after a bout with cancer, Mom started painting and upon request, had two one woman shows of her beautiful landscapes. Oh, and I used all of the words.
This was so rich and satisfying to read, my friend. What a wonderful woman she sounds…………I love that she took up painting after getting cancer. No wonder she made it to her 90’s. You are writing some wonderful poems this month, my friend, as you always do in April. I especially loved “Finding Yellow”.
This is beautiful showing that while we may have differed we still love and learn from our relationship with loved ones and remember them with a curious longing.
The wilderness of the past – i wonder if it makes sense the older we get..in moving further away in time do we get closer to it, more forgiving and in some ways perhaps more removed – sorry your poem made me reflect on things – it seems quite a profound thing to see how drumming out a wild streak went hand in hand with playing a harmonica and being such a personality – i love the photo – and yay – all the words!
Sorry if it caused you mental gymnastics. She kept that harmonica (and her talent) hidden in plain sight until we were all adults. Have no idea why, though I suspect it was her refuge. My Mother always worried about what other people would think. Thus, my rebellious streak was of great concern to her. I didn’t start writing poetry until I was almost forty (just after she started painting) and she wasn’t all that enthusiastic about my choice to do so. Said I should find something else to write about other than myself (after all, what would others think?). Yet, in her later years, it was me she turned to with those hard questions, not my more domesticated sisters. After she passed away, we found an entire drawer full of everything I’d ever published. That told me that she might have admired me (even, or especially, the wild streak) as much as I had come to admire her.
Perfect phrasing here: “strips of memory constantly
play through curious brain”