My Poetic Path

My journey…shared in poems, prose and photos.


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Revisiting…Fading Memories

It’s a cool, dreary Thanksgiving Day, here on Vancouver Island.

This poem and photo came to mind this afternoon, again and again.

Thinking of all those struggling with these heartbreaking issues. Sending hugs. ❤

Your efforts ARE appreciated.

I know….because my mom so poignantly told me that, when I needed to hear it most, many years ago. 

My Poetic Path

She sits in the diner, far from home.
Lunch rush over.
Blessed quiet restored.
It’s Tuesday, “her day”.
A crosstown bus ride, now a secret and special delight.
Away from the caring but claustrophobic family.
Still time to look back on happier days.
Trying to hold on to precious, fading memories.
 
The hours to savor, often still hopeful and good.
But too many others, a haze of uncertainty and doubt.
For now…
She will cautiously guard her fragile independence.
If only for a while longer.
Keeping them guessing.
Or so she hopes.
 
Where did the time go?
When did the children grow up to rise above her?
Knowing “what’s best”.
The mother becoming the child.
The child becoming the mother.
Trying to do their best..
Of that one thing, she is sure.
 
She grasps fervently and desperately to the time left.
To revel in these sacred moments alone.
Savoring her own thoughts.
Not willing to give…

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The Homecoming…

The hot, stifling air. A far-reaching, almost eerie silence. Sky, brilliantly blue; generously dotted with billowy “mashed potato” clouds. Replicas and visions from younger, happier days.

All of these had remained. Helping to sustain him through the long, lost days. He had known only to well, the many faces of hunger and thirst. The nights, hardest of all to bear.

He stood slightly stooped, his back to the sun. Sweat clinging the coarse denim shirt against his gaunt, slender frame. In spite of the relentless heat he felt a chill deep inside. Cold to the bone. No clothing or blanket would warm that space; his needy soul and tattered heart.

The long, shining gold and maroon train, once again picking up speed. He watched it’s departure with mixed emotions. Waving a farewell to no one in particular. Passengers peering out of the now dusty windows; grateful to be moving again. Leaving behind the flat, unforgiving Prairies as the Transcontinental continued on it’s regular run, due West.

Faded brown-striped grip in one hand, the heirloom 12 string in the other. The latter, his only treasured possession. Handmade so many years ago. Lovingly polished and preserved. Miraculously unscathed in spite of life’s bumps along the way.

Too many miles; too many alone. Late nights and bar fights. Cheap booze, poker games and words gone awry. County jails and letters, never mailed.

Familiarity: once shunned, often despised, now craved. The old room. The same old stories. How they would make for a welcome, much-overdue change.

He trudged the last five long miles along the well-worn path. Almost as worn as his one pair of shoes. There would be shade trees so high and cool clear water, back on the farm. The now “old” dog announcing his arrival, long before he would tap on the frame of the carved screen door.  A warm welcome; wan smile? Her older but still beautiful face to greet him and hold him close? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Only to rest awhile. Not to look over his shoulder or “watch his back”. To slowly unclench his rough calloused hands. To sleep as if a young boy again, under the sun-dried handmade quilt; laid upon his single bed.

The green grass and greener pastures still to be found. But not now. Not for a while.

Coming home….

His bronze face relaxed. Looking up, he breathed deeply. The rays of sun reflected a smile.

“The Homecoming” © 2008 Geraldine H. Hartman 

 Photo courtesy of: Flickr

Written for the August 17th  OSI prompt: homecoming