September Memories

It’s been years . . . years engrossed in toddlerhood, PTAs, junior high whims and the highschool weaning – mine, not hers. Knowing she’d leave for college. How’s that possible?

I’m really the single mom now. Dropped her off and just kept driving. Back in time to Provincetown. Famous for literary genius and rollicking good times. My first taste of love had sand above his lip. Took me to places that whipped the breath of my soul. Summer seeds of passion. Literally. Back at University, my belly grew. Summer faded and she became my life.

The beach is different in late September. Standing by the ancient wharf’s remains, deserted by history. All these memories were left here with the trees’ ancient pilings. But I found my true compass in Sandy. No regrets. Someday, I’ll bring her here to see where she began.


Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Merril hosts our 4th Prosery session, a new form created by dVerse. It is “flash fiction” (of any genre) that incorporates a line from a poem — and is not more than 144 words long. Merril selected the line “These memories were left here with the trees” by Jo Harjo, the new U.S. Poet Laureate. This is fiction.

Photo taken on our Provincetown walk earlier this week. There are a number of pilings from abandoned wharfs here — in its heyday, Portuguese immigrants settled here and created a vibrant fishing and whaling center.  

Provincetown was a summer home to many of America’s intellectuals, artists and writers  including Eugene O’Neill, Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, John Dos Passos, and of course the beloved Mary Oliver.

Provincetown is at the extreme tip of Cape Cod. 

24 thoughts on “September Memories

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) September 16, 2019 / 3:19 pm

    I do love this so very real story… the bittersweet passing, how the joy of a child filled the void of another life, I can also feel the promise of another beginning.


  2. Laura Bloomsbury September 16, 2019 / 3:35 pm

    sweet love story and a passion that grew! Cleverly blended with the “the trees’ ancient pilings. “


  3. Carol J Forrester September 16, 2019 / 3:38 pm

    You’ve got such a way with words Lillian. You draw the reader through this piece beautifully.


  4. rivrvlogr September 16, 2019 / 3:53 pm

    Your fondness for Provincetown shows through here. Well done.


  5. merrildsmith September 16, 2019 / 3:54 pm

    This is so touching and lovely, Lillian. Thank you.
    I like the photo, too.


  6. sarahsouthwest September 16, 2019 / 4:43 pm

    I like this story. I feel the joy and pain of motherhood here, I’m glad it worked out for her. Great image, too, those strong verticals. Battered but defiant – like so many mothers…!


  7. Glenn A. Buttkus September 16, 2019 / 4:46 pm

    So very poignant & touching, such tenderness tinged with sadness, spiced with nostalgia. You rocked the prompt, and dampened my cheeks


  8. Vivian Zems September 16, 2019 / 5:55 pm

    Beautiful memories. I feel the sense of loss and gain at the same time. Lovely!


  9. msjadeli September 16, 2019 / 6:24 pm

    Yes, yes Lillian, Sandy must see where she began one day. Lovely story.


  10. Tim Philippart September 16, 2019 / 6:26 pm

    I appreciate the varied perspectives.


  11. kentucky55 September 16, 2019 / 7:40 pm

    Love this story, that would be cool to bring her to this place.


  12. The Abject Muse September 16, 2019 / 7:49 pm

    Lovely words. Wonderful writing! You are truly gifted, Lillian.


  13. memadtwo September 16, 2019 / 10:45 pm

    Many origin stories here…taking the trees back to the roots. (K)


  14. rothpoetry September 16, 2019 / 10:55 pm

    Great story! I like what you did with the prompt…having the pilings be the trees!


  15. Kenji Kojima September 17, 2019 / 2:27 am

    Very lovely and nostalgic. I particularly love the last sentence, someday, I’ll bring her here to see where she began. This is what only a mother can think about her daughter. A father cannot come up with this way of thinking about his son.


  16. kim881 September 17, 2019 / 9:47 am

    One of the many things I enjoy about your writing, poetry and prose, is that I can always find something to identify with, even though geographically we are so far apart. Another thing is learning about your geography, where you live, where you’re going and where you’ve been. I love the chattiness of this piece, as if you are speaking to me, taking me to Provincetown and the beach.


  17. lifelessons September 17, 2019 / 2:21 pm

    I love this. One of my favorite images: My first taste of love had sand above his lip.


  18. Rob Kistner September 18, 2019 / 1:46 pm

    Excellent writing Lillian! I enjoyed reading this.


  19. purplepeninportland September 19, 2019 / 12:55 pm

    Lovely memories. I remember being in Provincetown year ago. Loved the sand dunes, and the wonderful Portuguese food.


  20. Mary (tqhousecat) September 22, 2019 / 12:56 pm

    “But I found my true compass in Sandy”….This line says so much!


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