Monochrome #Writephoto

copyright – Sue Vincent

Monochrome

My mother’s home
bows to the leaden clouds
through withering years
her gravity weights us
frail fingers of need
suspended from my shoulders

She clutches my arm
like a worn-out child
I bear without bending
but why do I feel
my feet have grown tap roots
and I cannot extract them

They are declining together
that house and she
sagging and creaking
water-marked and fractured
fragile veins of rusted pipes
crumbling the foundation of bones

Beauty requires altered eyes
the blurred half-distance of memory
a chorus of overlapping echoes
in party dresses and baby’s breath
when the decay of age was nothing
a coat of paint couldn’t hide

She has lost the sharp-edged borders
scarlet tulips and peach-rimmed roses
glories of the morning in royal blue
black-eyed Susans and apricot orchids
mums in the amber blaze of twilight
winter’s bittersweet

I will remember
her spring blossoms
ceding to blood red chrysanthemums
and garlands of evergreen
until the day I too fade
into monochrome

**

I just got home from another visit to my parents. They’re doing fine but declining, especially my mother. This poem is bleaker than the real situation. It’s just the muse and image tugging me along. Thanks to Sue Vincent for another Thursday #Writephoto prompt. (I missed the deadline, but happily post this anyway.)

108 thoughts on “Monochrome #Writephoto

  1. Sarah says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mother declining more and more, Diana! I partly know how hard this is to watch, I was a wreck when my mum broke her arm last year and looked so frail in her pain. She’s much better now and I’m so happy for her. I wish you as many wonderful moments to spend with yours as possible! It’s good to know that they live closer to you now.
    I really love your poem, and especially the stanza about what beauty requires – so poignant and beautiful. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sarah. I seem to be traveling up to see my parents every couple of weeks. (I’m overseeing their medical needs.) All is going well and we’re finding time for laughs and enjoyment too. Thanks for the visit, my friend! I’m so glad you enjoyed the poem. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Teri Polen says:

    So sorry to hear this about your mother, Diana – sending hugs your way!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mylilplace says:

    Many hugs for you, Diana…especially on this Mother’s Day weekend. It’s quite a journey for a daughter and a mother, a relationship that’s mostly complicated, yet deep and profound. I feel tears in my heart as I am reading this…❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is an amazing poem Diana. Heart felt and true. 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So sad. A reminder, however, that we will all go through the sunset of our lives. Makes me think of the house I grew up in and that my dad sold last fall. It wasn’t in rough shape, but so many memories! Sorry to hear your mother is declining. Don’t forget to take care of yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh dear. I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face, Diana. No, I don’t think it’s bleaker than the ‘real’ situation. I think it’s flowing words written in an intense dark-flower-filled poem that is sharp with reality. Thank you for writing it. I’m off to visit my mom next week, and your poem will be etched in my heart and soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Pam. Now you’ve made me cry! Those visits are everything, and I’m so glad to have my parents near during this time. These are hours to fill with love and tenderness. They’re gifts. I hope you have a wonderful time with your mom. ❤ Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Annika Perry says:

    Diana, a powerful poem that draws the reader in … full of colourful imagery in a world of monochrome. Real-life events can often be the spark of a fictional work which then takes its own imagined route. A deep sense of calm and acceptance here … seeing the past in the present. Glad you have more opportunity to visit your parents – a blessing for you all. Hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the sweet comment, Annika. Real life is often my spark for poems. 🙂 Prose on the other hand… the imagination can go a little off-kilter 🙂 Yes, acceptance and calm are good descriptions of how I feel. I’m so relieved to have my parents close by now. It’s a blessing to be able to spend these last months/years with them. Hugs back at you. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. dgkaye says:

    Melancholy yet beautiful Diana. I read it as though you wrote metaphors about your mom. And then you added the little note. Beautiful. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the lovely comment, Debby. Yes, you caught those metaphors. My parents are still adjusting to the move and I hope things will improve as they’re a little less disoriented. It’s nice having them close so I can help. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • dgkaye says:

        As long as they have you around they will adjust. Moving from a home they’ve spent most of their lives in, especially at their age takes a lot of adjustment. I am sure they are happy to be near you now, ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  9. The house must served your parents well throughout the years, Diana. There are so many memorable moments, I’m sure. This poem sure has vivid imagery of the journey it’s gone through. Sorry to hear your mom is not doing well. You have helped them moved just in time to care for them! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Miriam. This house, of course, wasn’t theirs, but the image made me think about the way all things gradually decline including all of us. And you’re so right that it’s lovely to have my parents near. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. rijanjks says:

    It is a sad poem, in ways, but also filled with unavoidable truths. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Beautiful and certainly I see shades of my mother’s slow decline over the last ten years or so, the need for the comfort and safety of familiar territory and people. But I was amazed at the resilience and strength of the human spirit and having you visit would have given a great boost. My mother was 94 and still getting herself up and dressed with jacket and makeup to face each day. As you say plenty of room for love and laughter… ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sally. The great thing about having my parents closer now, is that I can spend a lot more time with them. I can help with chores and doctors, but also have fun. And 94 is amazing. I doubt my mom has that much time, but you never know! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. V.M.Sang says:

    A beautiful, if sad, poem. I was lucky not to see my mother go through such a decline. She was 80 when she passed, but had been active up to the end. It must be so hard to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the kind comment, V. It is sad, but also a chance to be “present” and fill our days with fun and love. I don’t regret the opportunity as hard as it can sometimes be. Have a wonderful day!

      Like

  13. acflory says:

    My Dad’s been gone for many years now, but I thought of him today, and what I remembered was that one good thing, no matter how small, can add a splash of colour to the day. I hope your Mum’s days each have a splash of colour. Yours too.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Beautifully poignant

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Silent Hour says:

    Beautiful and sad… a wonderful read, really. You always write from the heart, and more so here. What can I say, I really loved this poem.

    when the decay of age was nothing
    a coat of paint couldn’t hide — “sigh”

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ooo very moving piece. I love the correlation between fading colour and ageing. Poignant and sad. I do hope your parents pick up a bit after settling in ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Sue Vincent says:

    This is exceptionally beautiful and yet so sad, Diana. I’ll add it to the round-up. Deadlines are flexible around here 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The power of your descriptive writing is extremely evident. The fading theme of color is so heartbreaking to me. I can’t imagine a stronger tribute to love, than “I bear without bending”. May your dear memories of her garden, and her vibrance continue to be a place of comfort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ethan. The prompt took me to a darker place than we currently occupy, but my mom is definitely on the decline. We’re plugging along though and filling her days with as much pleasure as possible. Including flowers!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Ah Diana… this is poignant and beautiful. Thank you for your strength and compassion — and for sharing these lovingly expressed thoughts with us. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Ocean Bream says:

    This hit hard and home Diana. I remember feeling this way about my grandmother. In my memories she is young. As your mother is in yours – which is why this decline is so painful. Your poetry is so beautiful and vivid and wistful. Sending you all the love, and to your mother too.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I’ve been through aging and illness with my parents. Reading your poem caused flashes of memory of those times and of struggles from all involved. Your stanza “I will remember
    her spring blossoms…” brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mary. The poem shifted a bit from the house to the garden, but I went with it and overall am satisfied. I’m so glad you found it moving, and I can imagine that many of us can relate. My mom may have weeks or years, but I’m hoping not to waste them either way. Thanks for the lovely comment, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. J.D. Riso says:

    Beautiful, Diana, and the metaphor was brilliantly executed. It’s tough to watch the decline of those you love. Warm wishes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for stopping by to read, JD. It is so hard, but part of life. It’s our choice about how we go about it, and I’m doing my best to make it serene and full of kindness and love. ❤ I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Beautiful! This line especially struck me, “the blurred half-distance of memory”
    I cannot say why, but it did!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Diana your poem is so moving and your reality also moves me – deeply. I read your comments on your intentions for your mother’s final days with deep appreciation for the woman you are – and for the love that lives between you and your mother. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Pauline. The reality isn’t as grim as the poem, but it’s been a tough 8-9 months. She could be around for a week or years, but she is struggling, so I’m there and honored to walk the path with her. 🙂 I so appreciate your kind words, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Beautifully written Diana.” Your feet growing taproots “. Attached to your roots, it’s hard to let go…..of the house….of your mother….of memories. Very nostalgic.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Len. My folks recently moved to be nearer to us, so their house is gone… and honestly, good riddance 🙂 Now, we’re enjoying some slow time and filling our days together with as much fun and love as possible. Thanks for the lovely comment and I’m glad you liked the poem. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  26. memadtwo says:

    This is a beautiful rendering of the fading that is aging. We do become more monochrome on the outside, but the inside still holds the vibrant tones of memories I think. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  27. balroop2013 says:

    Superbly done Diana! Your words reached the deepest cords of my heart, I couldn’t help when a lump formed in my throat…this is the story of each home and each one of us. I wish and pray for a peaceful end to the glorious life of our ageing mothers, our first emotional anchors. Love and hugs dear friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Balroop, that means a lot coming from a poet such as yourself. I’m glad my poem moved you. I’m in no hurry to say goodbye to my mom, so lots of traveling north in the months to come. Thanks for the love and hugs. Have a wonderful day. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Invisibly Me says:

    So delicate, this is beautifully written. I’m so sorry about your parents. I’m lucky to still have mine with me, but they’re in their 70s and seeing health decline is beyond painful. I’m glad they have you there for them, I’m sure they’re glad for that and you’ll want to be spending as much time with them as you can. 🌷
    Caz x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Caz. I’m glad you liked my poem. My parents are in their late 80s and my mom never fully recovered from an illness last autumn – thus the worries and rapid decline. I’m spending as much time as possible with them. 🙂 I appreciate your kind comment. ❤ Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. This poem is very sad, Diana. I hope my parents never become monochrome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading, Robbie. My mom is blind but fortunately still sees bright blurry colors! At the same time life is narrowing and becoming more of a struggle. As her health fails, my hope is to fill each day I’m with her with love. ❤

      Like

  30. Beautifully touching and evocative Diana. It expressed the fading of life, beauty, flowers, and homes so well. I’m glad you’re getting to spend time with your mom. Yes, it’s hard to see our loved ones aging. I’m going to visit and help my mother in a week and will face the same issues.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. This is really beautiful. Sad, but beautiful. Hard to see our parents ageing, but it comes to all of us, if we’re lucky enough to live that long. Love the poem!

    Liked by 2 people

  32. joylennick says:

    Thanks, Diana. Do hope it’s not too tough on your poor Mom. That’s one of the hardest things about ageing, seeing your friends and families suffer. It certainly makes you appreciate every precious moment, nature and love..Hugs xx

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Oh Diana! You do have a gift with your words, and what a gift! You took me on a journey, but simultaneously allow me to enter your narrative and navigate freely … Gorgeous!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Wonderfully evocative. I loved the inclusion of all the flower names. It reminded me of my grandmother and the roses she grew. The idea of the house and your mother declining together worked really well in the poem I thought.

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Almost Iowa says:

    A sagging elegant house, what a perfect metaphor.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. This is so beautifully melancholic and moving. It’s just amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. This really resonates with me, Diana. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Crafted images – ones visual and the feeling of it all.
    I love this line “my feet have grown tap roots
    and I cannot extract them”

    Liked by 1 person

  39. trentpmcd says:

    A great analogy between the two aged beauties. Very well done. I’m glad the reality isn’t quite do bleak. With my parents in their 80s, I can understand (both relatively healthy). (Since Sue does her wrap up on Thursday, I’m sure she’ll make an exception for being a little late 😉 )

    Liked by 2 people

  40. joylennick says:

    What a brilliant wordsmith you are Diana…I felt the sad/ sharp edge of your words as I’m probably older than your mama. But still think ‘wine’ and not bananas….(Am mentally 40.) xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the lovely comment, Joy. I’m glad you’re not bananas! Ha. My mom is still fairly sharp, though she’s blind now and physically in tough shape. We’re taking things month by month. ❤

      Like

  41. Hélène - Willow Poetry says:

    Described so beautifully Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. declining, as are we all

    Liked by 1 person

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