Shadows

When it’s very still
and my soul’s at rest,
I see shadows nearby,
waiting patiently.

An ethereal background
hovers . . .
seemingly through them.
As if a thinning fog.

Shadows of people,
all of them gone.
But here they stand,
their profile or back to me.

My brother, leaning in.
My father with wavy hair.
My mother, skirts lifted,
swaying to music I strain to hear.

Time intrudes and eyes focus,
reality presents itself.
Wedges its way into my mind
until I question what I saw.

But everybody sees shadows
on bright sunlit days.
They dance beside us,
follow, or lead the way.

So who is to say these shadows,
appearing to me when I am alone
are not at least as real
as those we see on sunny days?

Perhaps these shadows also lead me.
Quietly waiting.
Unobtrusively.

I’m hosting Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, and folks are invited to post any poem of their choosing. These photos taken this week in Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod….and they got me to thinking about shadows.
Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

Reunion 2019

Somewhere above the sun
Mor Mor, Far Far,
Grampa and Gramma Hallberg,
Pat, Jay,
Ina, Wes,
Bertha, Bud,
Florence and Milt
shine bright,
smile so proud,
knowing they live on.
Three generations strong
remember.
Still gather
to laugh, love and care.

“Far Far” is my father’s father in Swedish; “Mor Mor”, my mother’s mother. Photos from this past weekend’s family reunion in the Adirondacks. See previous poem for fun pics!

Quadrille (44 words sans title) with prompt word “sun” written for dVerse.

There comes a time. . .

Developing her own voice
testing her wings,
child no longer.
He understood as a poet does,
metaphorically . . .
you cannot tether a bluebird to your wiles,
no matter how loose the string.

Written in response to Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Linda is hosting and asks us to write a poem inspired by one of six particular paintings by Jacquline Hurlbert. I’ve selected Bluebird’s Journey, with permission of the artist. Find all paintings and information about the artist at jhurlbert.com

Eulogy

Lost too soon . . .
gathered in pews
eyes tear-glistened,
memories spill from pulpit.

Amazing Grace reverberates
voices swell in unison.
Hear us missing you,
lost too soon.

Written for Tuesday’s Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Amaya prompts us to “Cry Me a River” — write about a song that brings us to tears or makes us melancholy. 
Photo from Pixabay.com

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth, you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Khalil Gibran

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We Gather Again

Fifty years ago,
we wore bridal veils.
Walked past the elders’
with a cursory but loving nod.

Then family reunions,
joyful raucous gatherings
at the twenty
and thirty-something’s table.

Then babies appeared on hips,
high chairs crowded table seatings,
crayons joined forks and spoons
and the elders watched lovingly.

Too soon,
teenagers rolled their eyes,
talked about whatever they do,
made lists for Santa’s exchange.

Someone tried to reproduce
Auntie Maia’s meringue cookies.
Papa Milt’s son took over
his carving-the-turkey role.

Beloved faces,
grandparents,
uncles and aunts
disappeared from the scene.

And now, tomorrow,
we gather again,
a new generation
gracing a bridal veil.

And just for a moment I see their faces.
Generations
who instilled love of family,
no matter the distance or age.

Then quietly
we walk into the room,
smile knowingly and take our seats.
We now, are the elders’ table.

Summer Invasion

On a rainy summer day, melted cherry popsicle juice puddles on kitchen countertop. The now bare, but somewhat red-stained stick, is a walking bridge from stainless steel sink’s edge to sticky stuff. It’s a veritable picnic spot for sugar thirsty ants. Our kids, unaware of the insect invasion they’ve created, sit on the faux-brick linoleum covered floor playing with colorful legos.

forget dull bread crumbs
summer brings popsicle juice
ants’ debauchery

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It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today, Gina is tending pub and asks us to write about a picnic. Haibun: short prose (cannot be fiction) followed by a haiku. Photo from pixabay.com

Harbinger

A gift unwanted, disdained,
sat untouched.
Please. Pleaze. Pulllleeeze.
Pleas for lessons.
When you can reach the pedals
we said again and again.

And then . . . young fingers
explored the keys.
Eager feet
moved left then right.
Fingers began to dance
and feet to pump.

Hymns at church
rang out loud,
ten year old dwarfed
by massive pipe organ.
Appendages in synch
matched broad grin on face.

Thank you dad.
Your gift, unwanted once,
became our daughter’s future.
If only you could see her now.

Sarah hosts Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to write about a harbinger…..a sign of something to come.  This posts tells a true story. When my parents retired, they basically sold all their worldy goods and traveled the states in a motor home. My dad gave us his very small Lawrys organ and gave my brother a beautiful antique school clock he’d refinished. For years, I was furious that I was stuck with this musical instrument that no one could play and my brother got this fabulous clock!  And then our daughter started to beg for lessons. The rest is history….as you’ll see by this one minute video! 

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At an early organ competition. Love the knee socks!