A while ago, I wrote this 99-word story for the Sue Vincent Classic at Carrot Ranch, and I never got around to sharing it here. Sue has since passed away, leaving a hole in our writing community, and I miss her. I hope you enjoy the story.
My Mother’s Song
Even on a day of grief, the living abide no idleness. Bodies need nourishment, goats tending. The hearth yearns for fire before the wind sweeps us all beneath the dirt. I loathe our hill, the leaden clouds and cold toes, black spots on the moldering potatoes.
For years, I’d griped about my tasks while my mother had sung with the rhythm of her washboard. Of a beauty I couldn’t behold.
Now, without her, I face the quilted valley, the snow-laced mountains, branches gilded by the sun. Only now do I see, and my heart bursts with my mother’s song.
As we celebrate our dear story-teller, poet, blogger, and wise-woman Sue Vincent, I’d thought I would share my favorite book of her poetry.
Below is a sublimely beautiful poem from its pages, and my review. If you enjoy it, consider picking up a copy for own heart’s enjoyment. ❤
by Sue Vincent
There were always flowers.
Orchids pinned upon a mother’s breast,
All lace and diamonds.
Long black gloves
And painted lips,
As she left, laughing.
A child who watched
As the door closed.
There were flowers…
Cellophane and ribbon
A girl who blushed
As the curtain fell
Upon the stage;
She cradled them,
A first bouquet.
There were flowers,
Roses and lilies
White, in hands and hair,
Their fragrance mingled
A ghost of awe and wonder
Finding a home
There were flowers…
Greeting a life newborn,
With love and welcome,
Lighting stark severity
As a babe cried.
There were flowers…
Around his brow,
Crowning him with sunlight,
There were flowers,
Red as life,
Placed in a cold hand,
One for each heart
There are flowers,
Heather and bluebells
Pathways of petals
Laugh at our feet,
In joy or sorrow,
When the tears fall,
There are always flowers.
This collection of 52 poems by Sue Vincent is a gem. I’d give this book 6 stars if I could. It’s hard to put into words how moving I found Vincent’s poetry. The poems are free form reflections on the profound moments of life, the deep emotional wells of love, loss, and memories, the rhythms of nature reflected in our journeys, and the poignant journeys themselves.
It was almost impossible to pick out a few favorites, but I’m giving it a try: “I See You” is an exquisite poem about aging and the lasting echoes of youth that we carry inside our memories. “Flowers” (which makes me weepy just thinking about it) chronicles a woman’s life-stages in flowers from birth through death. Two touching poems are told from the point of view of someone watching a loved one sleep. They’re both gentle and heartachingly beautiful. “Just for a Moment” is a rare syllabic poem in the collection about the peace of love, and “Memory” about love lost.
Though the poems can be read in an hour or so, I would suggest savoring them. Highly recommended.
The dreamer’s room faded. Stars pricked holes in the velvet darkness as a crescent moon sailed over the restless sea, a bat with silver wings. Tucked between the shore’s boulders, twigs of cedar snapped in the nightfire, scenting the salted air with smoke. The plaintive calls of dragons whispered across the waves.
The crone peered at her latest visitor through slit eyes. Unafraid, the dreamer stood before her circle of flames, silent and sound as the distant mountains of home.
At the fire’s edge, the old woman sat atop her weathered stone, swaying, rocking, singing to herself, chanting words from ancient mouths, words lost, though their power she retained. The fire cracked and cackled, shaking fingers, sending sparks curling, singing, reeling into unsteady darkness. Soon the sea-rains would gray them, rise over cowled peaks and fall with the wind, heavy cloaks of snow coating her magic in ice. Her runes called, choose, choose, the time has come to choose.
The World spun faster, drawing the sky down, the earth up, bidding the waters to eddy and ripple in overlapping circles of light, bringing the forest to sing low and hum, smelling of leaf and loam. Expectation swelled with the tide and clawed at the sand, beckoned her to choose. From the embers’ bright edge, she drew a rune and studied the markings. The sea stilled, and she read the stone:
A call from the sliver moon and realm of imaginings. A strange Way gapes open, make ready for new beginnings. Resolve old myths to seed the soil for deliverance. Ah, the World transforms; emerge from the chrysalis, casting off false faces and old forms of knowing. Prepare for release from time-worn forces. Surrender and soar to the revealing of the World.
Thanks to Sue Vincentfor another inspiring Thursday #Writephoto prompt.
Happy Mothers Day! What better way to celebrate than to share a heartwarming story by Allie Potts who routinely captures bits of wisdom from her children. Comments are closed here, so click through to Allie’s wonderful blog and smile.
Let’s go to the place where the sidewalk ends
By Allie Potts
LT sat on the tire swing in our backyard, alone. His brother had gone to play with a friend leaving LT to amuse himself while his father and I completed our chores. His legs were curled up as they wouldn’t touch the ground even if extended. As a result, the swing was nearly motionless except for a gentle sway with the breeze. I watched as his mouth move and wondered what the conversation he was having with himself might be about. He looked content, but it was a lonely image.
The last of my cleaning could wait. “Do you want to go to the park?” I called out, thinking there might be other kids he could play with. LT beamed, eagerly accepting my offer and soon we were walking down the street to our local playground. LT chattered about things like clouds, giants and other friendly monsters, smiling at everybody we passed along the way. Never once did I have to tell him to hurry up, or stay with me, or explain why he shouldn’t be carried. Who was this child?
Perhaps I shouldn’t be the one posting this since I am not a mother, but then on the other hand maybe that’s precisely the reason why I should post it because I watched all my friends go through all the different stages. I am a witness, this all is true!
The Evolution of Mom
Parenthood changes with each baby. Here, some of the ways having a second and third child differ from having your first:
1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes are your regular clothes.
The Baby’s Name
1st baby: You pore over baby-name books and practice pronouncing and writing combinations of all your favorites.
2nd baby: Someone has to name their kid after your great-aunt Mavis, right? It might as well be you.
3rd baby: You open a name book, close your eyes, and see where your finger falls. Bimaldo? Perfect!