Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Day of Sharing Words

This post is dedicated to my mother, pictured above, with Nathan, in 1989. She was very brave and I miss her.

Poem: "Wagons," by Maxine Kumin from The Long Marriage (W.W. Norton).


Their wheelchairs are Conestoga wagons drawn
into the arc of a circle at 2 P.M.

Elsie, Gladys, Hazel, Fanny, Dora
whose names were coinage after the First World War

remember their parents tuned to the Fireside Chats,
remember in school being taught to hate the Japs.

They sit attentive as seals awaiting their fish
as the therapist sings out her cheerful directives:

Square the shoulders, lean back, straighten the knee
and lift! Tighten, lift and hold, Ladies!

They will retrain the side all but lost in a stroke,
the spinal cord mashed but not severed in traffic.

They will learn to adjust to their newly replaced
hips, they will walk on feet of shapely plastic.

This darling child in charge of their destiny
will lead them forward across the prairie.


Trish said...

thank you for sharing!

Candace said...

Thank you for sharing this with us, Judy. Oh yes, one sees that determination in her expression

Lynn Cohen said...

Wow, what words these are, what pictures they bring up in my mind.
I see you in your lovely mother's face. Thanks for sharing.

TBM said...

Whew--those are powerful words. Thank you for sharing your mother's smile with us today.

katie said...

i see you there, in your mother's beautiful face

Anonymous said...

i see you in your mother's face, too..that same warm knowing smile.

thank you judy,
thank you for you and all that you are and all that you share with us.

Anonymous said...

Perfect! The words and image dance exquisitely together.

Stephanie Lee said...

Yes, yes. You ARE there in her smile, her eyes, her slight tilt of head! Is it possible that you are two separate people?
She is visiting you today - in these thoughts, this poem, the smile she forever is offering. I love that. I love that you are being visited!


DS Borror said...

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. ~Washington Irving

may you find your path soon but in your own time...

Kim Mailhot said...

Beautiful words to share in a beautiful tribute. Thank you.

Laurel said...

beautiful poem, beautiful mother, beautiful you! thank you!

Judy said...

i fot the shivers reading this one Judy - stunning reality.

A.Smith said...

That is where you got your good looks! That face of hers, so beautiful, forged with love and acceptance, she was indeed very brave and the look in her eyes speaks volume across the silence.

Whatever it was at the time I have no doubt she won over the outcome and her smile is not one of resignation but of determination. "Give me lemons and I will teach you how to make lemon cake", that is what she makes me think of. One of them, warrior women of the unsung generation.

Shelly said...

What a powerful poem and lovely photo of your mother.
You favor her a great deal. (Met you briefly at Art & Soul in Portland.)

HappyDayArt! said...

This is sweet. Not ready to be there yet though but it makes you think. Catherine

Chris said...

I like this a lot. I've never heard of this poet. I'm going to go check her out. I love her assonance.

You honor your mom.

Joy Logan said...

Love this Judy,I think of my mom often. Sad when they become dependant on their chariots.

Anonymous said...

powerful stuff... this is so much fun being exposed to words... thankyou