Ledger of Life

In the wee hours of the morning
my mind tumbles faces, places, memories.
Little aches ping.
Hand holds pen to write,
conduit for black words
birthed on white unlined page.
What is this but a ledger of life?

Dids and dones
undones and shoulda-dones
woulda-dones, coulda-dones.
Little ones raised to move on
to raise little ones to move on
to raise little ones to move on.
Where in this pattern will I cease?

Dawn rises, stains sky in fiery reds
oranges, glaring orange-reds.
No sorbet pastel hues today.
Yesterday’s clouds only wisps today.
If they dissipate tomorrow,
will their essence still exist
somewhere in that indigo sky?

I shall no longer walk this earth.
How many little ones raised to move on
to raise little ones raised to move on
will recall my name?
Know where to find my words,
poems once so thoughtfully scribed.

Perhaps I shall be a faded photo
in an antique frame,
dusty but shelved with someone’s knickknacks
between Kahil Gibran’s The Prophet
and James Patterson’s final mystery.
And when I think about it,
listening to the ocean roll in,
I’m okay with that.

Click on link above to see video…takes a second to run.
Written for Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. OLN means folks can post any one poem of their choosing; no prompts given. Video taken Wednesday, September 16 in the age of Covid….from our deck in Provincetown.

18 thoughts on “Ledger of Life

  1. kim881 September 17, 2020 / 2:53 pm

    An impressive ledger of life, Lill! I love this. Are you joining us this evening from Provincetown?


  2. scotthastiepoet September 17, 2020 / 3:19 pm

    Love this Lillian – so open and honest… And love the way you sculpt us so tenderly towards such an effective close – Great!


  3. rivrvlogr September 17, 2020 / 4:34 pm

    Those first two stanzas… what keeps from sleeping, some nights.


  4. Glenn A. Buttkus September 17, 2020 / 4:45 pm

    An excellent introspective tale, where many of we boomers consider our mortality. Like you, hoping for a Zen version of afterlife, my passage, my transition is just part and parcel integral and weaved into the tides, the fabric of life.


  5. merrildsmith September 17, 2020 / 4:46 pm

    Sorry you couldn’t join us, Lillian. I like how this moves from the sleepless night worries to the acceptance at the end. And now you probably are listening to the ocean roll in!


  6. sanaarizvi September 17, 2020 / 7:18 pm

    Oh I missed you so much at the Live event, Lillian. This is a beautiful, and heart-stirring write 💝💝


  7. lovemorestudio September 17, 2020 / 8:08 pm

    “I’m okay with that,” a wonderfully positive, succinct close to this reflection. Well done ~Jason


  8. hank77 September 17, 2020 / 10:46 pm

    And when I think about it,
    listening to the ocean roll in,
    I’m okay with that.

    When one comes to think about it most just leave it to fate on what may become of the post Covid 19 era. Not many would venture to anticipate, what’s next!



  9. msjadeli September 17, 2020 / 10:48 pm

    Bella, Lillian! Existentialism examined like a diamond under a microscope. I think of my own family and how many of them will read my poems and think of me. Then I think I know why poets publish them in books to be found by other poets ❤ Beautifully conveyed and I like how you used to repetition and the compound words.


  10. Ingrid September 18, 2020 / 3:21 am

    This is fantastic: it’s beautiful and profound. I would be ok with ending up like that too, I think. Such a wonderful feeling to find peace with yourself and your place in the universe.


  11. Mish September 18, 2020 / 10:35 am

    I adore the natural flow of contemplation in your words. The repetition accentuates the unanswered questions and your acceptance of not knowing the answers is such a calm resolve at the end. I especially love this….
    “Yesterday’s clouds only wisps today.
    If they dissipate tomorrow,
    will their essence still exist
    somewhere in that indigo sky?


  12. Helen Dehner September 18, 2020 / 1:43 pm

    Today is my 79th birthday …. I have saved and printed your amazing poem, going to read it at my party later. Hope that is ok. Seemed the perfect words …….

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 18, 2020 / 2:45 pm

      Dear Helen,
      I am humbled and delighted to learn you will read my poem at your party as you celebrate your 79th birthday. And by the way, my mother’s name was Helen…she would be over 100 now (I am 73) so I have a special attachment for your name. Happy Birthday – and May you enjoy many more.


  13. revivedwriter September 18, 2020 / 3:16 pm

    “James Patterson’s final mystery” is a disconcerting thought; he has so many and will probably keep writing them until he literally can’t! It’s a bit humorous, in a dark way. The repetition of “little ones raised to move on” is very effective.


  14. robtkistner September 19, 2020 / 3:12 pm

    This is wonderful Lillian, ends in a mildly melancholy but comfortable place. Enjoyed the read, thank you… 🙂


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