Helen Cecile

she was like that.

Wound up tight tremors,
taut sprockets of the mind.

Spring-like nerves compressed
temper flares spewed.

Church hands folded, twitched, 
flailed by noon.

Even keel sailing
turned runaway train.

Expect the unexpected,
she was like that.

Kim is hosting today’s quadrille ( a poem of exactly 44 words, not including the title) at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, and asks us to use the word “spring.” Bar opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us! 

48 thoughts on “Helen Cecile

    • lillian March 13, 2017 / 3:33 pm

      My guess is there will be others who will “recognize” her in their own friends or relatives. Helen Cecile happened to be my mother. She could be a lot of fun one minute and then a runaway train the next. You always had to be on your toes so to speak….

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Glenn Buttkus March 13, 2017 / 3:01 pm

    I may have dated Helen during the late 60’s; fascinating, yet so much the chameleon, so very spontaneous & unpredictable, it was like trying to slow down or domesticate a hummingbird–she flitted away before I could protest.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian March 13, 2017 / 3:34 pm

      Oh I love your words here…..spontaneous/unpredictable. Funny how those words can be positive or negative….my Helen Cecile was definitely not a hummingbird!


  2. frankhubeny March 13, 2017 / 3:08 pm

    It is probably good to expect the unexpected and not assume what’s trending will trend the same way. People like Helen remind us of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 13, 2017 / 3:35 pm

      Happy to introduce you to my mother, Bjorn. She left this earth in 1998 — but she is still so real in so many ways to me. Loved her one minute…..then….


  3. MarinaSofia March 13, 2017 / 3:29 pm

    An unusual but very apt interpretation of the word ‘spring’… I know a few women (and men) wound up tight like that – and then bursting into action.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 13, 2017 / 3:36 pm

      Ah…your “bursting into action” has a positive spin to it. Helen Cecile was a difficult one to handle, to love, to be with…..and then the next minute, we’d be trying on silly hats and laughing up a storm!

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 13, 2017 / 3:37 pm

      Thanks! This was a good one to edit down to 44 words….which is what I think gives it the qualities you’re sensing. Getting to only 44 words gets you down to the raw energy of the thoughts, right?


  4. whippetwisdom March 13, 2017 / 3:48 pm

    A very vivid description of someone not best equipped to deal with what came her way – a mother like her would not have been easy for any child xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bev March 13, 2017 / 3:57 pm

    Ah, yes, I had a friend as described. One moment the court jester, the next the executioner, with a tongue so sharp no guillotine was needed! She, too, was wound tight. I enjoyed the read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 14, 2017 / 2:59 pm

      Thanks, Bev. I suspect many know a Helen Cecile.


    • lillian March 14, 2017 / 3:00 pm

      well…..sometimes it can be a bit too explosive!


  6. welshstream March 13, 2017 / 4:54 pm

    Like the undercurrent of this and that ‘church hands folded’ is a great observation

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 14, 2017 / 3:02 pm

      Thanks for the read — appreciate it! 🙂


  7. Singledust March 13, 2017 / 5:33 pm

    swings of highs and lows so beautifully described by someone who knew the person beneath the changing personalities.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. lynn__ March 13, 2017 / 5:33 pm

    Wow, this is an evocative portrait! with perhaps bi-polar tendencies…?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 14, 2017 / 3:03 pm

      Never diagnosed….but the swings were sure there.


      • lynn__ March 14, 2017 / 3:45 pm

        My dad was diagnosed with bi-polar in later years…and i experience mood swings.


      • lillian March 14, 2017 / 3:59 pm

        Mood swings can be hard for the person having them and for those who feel them…I am glad there is now a better medical understanding of those who face a bi-polar diagnosis.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lynn__ March 14, 2017 / 4:08 pm

        Yes, me too!


  9. kim881 March 13, 2017 / 5:57 pm

    You captured my attention with that wonderful word ‘Discombobulized’! Did your mother use that word often? I love the phrase ‘taut sprockets of the mind’, I think I might have them :).
    I can see those church hands too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 14, 2017 / 3:04 pm

      Thanks, Kim. Don’t know where the word comes from in my vocabulary — but it’s been there a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 14, 2017 / 3:04 pm

      …and sometimes over and over again 😦


  10. Victoria C. Slotto March 13, 2017 / 7:13 pm

    Wow, Lillian–your unique spin on the prompt really evokes this woman. Such great character development. Today, I’m afraid I kind of relate to her, so you are reminding me to uncoil.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 14, 2017 / 3:05 pm

      In today’s world, we are far too often coiled tight……..:(

      Liked by 1 person

  11. katiemiafrederick March 14, 2017 / 12:20 pm

    Top of the neWesT
    SpRing to ya.. mY
    friEnd.. Lillian.. noW
    And Lord knowS and
    FeelS and seNseS iN
    aS liGht of Hope.. Or
    FeAR of DArk.. NoW
    all wound
    up or loose
    And floWer
    Fresh FReED..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 14, 2017 / 3:06 pm

      ….like that toy, a Slinky…..coiled tight and sometimes loping along uncoiled. You’ve got that right!

      Liked by 1 person

      • katiemiafrederick March 14, 2017 / 9:30 pm

        WiNks.. Lillilan..
        A Real trick is
        A way
        for the
        sLinKy to
        climb uP stAirs
        as DOwn Stairs
        iS alWays dOne more
        iT seems.. at leASt
        iN thE pArTs wHEre
        i liVe wHOle.. NoW..;)

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Janice March 14, 2017 / 12:24 pm

    Such a well done portrait Lillian. Starting with ‘discombobulized’ is brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. ZQ March 17, 2017 / 3:42 pm

    Yes, I know them… some were nuns, some were relatives, until we become un-expected.
    As so goes I, on occasion… with regret.


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