Before February gets by us, I want to share this poem about a moment in time filled with an enduring memory. As the snows falls and the wind blusters by, a woman with her warm comforts of tea and a charming music box from Germany fills her afternoon…Each February I remember the fragile note, kept safe in the music box imported from Germany. Unfolding the faded and creased parchment, I read his words in soft murmurs while waiting for the old teapot to whistle. My aging hands are cold and less nimble; but my mind fights the weathering years. Scrawled in pale blue ink, he wrote: “My dearest valentine I beg you, live well and laugh often. Bouquets fade and dry, Godivas digest, ahh…but love…love… think of me and smile.” I gently refold each crease and put away the only thing he left me. Still, I ask myself each year since his passing, were they written out of guilt or obligation? Sipping Earl Grey tea on this bittersweet afternoon, it was easier to believe in love. What is a wintry day in February like for you? Can you identify with the woman in this verse? Your thoughts and comments are most welcome! Thank you for reading this posting of I Stop the Questioning.
Late Afternoon in Early Winter
The wood stove fire burns slowly,
warmth seeps into ridges of a red fleece blanket
that adorns my shivering shoulders.
Outside the snow softly falls,
swirls of silver and white cover
autumn into bare branched silence.
North winds howl,
white tailed deer scrape snow on their tongues
on a late afternoon in early winter.
Caught in high country silence,
I sit and wonder, will we ever dance together again,
one more time embrace
the soft rustlings of our mountain love.
The late afternoon begins to dim;
Night fall trails and gives way to the gray violet of snowy dusk.
I listen for your voice to echo down the high country ridge;
a gesture of your long awaited return home.
Outside the mountain settles into an early winter,
the deer and I wait for December snows to end,
and the passes to clear,
and embrace the pale glimmer of morning.
Fooling with words,
I seek out a dream- how to make a life as a poet.
Hot coffee, and cold truth,
a woman’s notebook
encounters the writing circle,
on a Thursday in autumn at the bookstore.
Autumn sunshine dapples the floorboards
of an old clapboard home once filled with family.
Heaped in a darkened corner, discarded
and tattered with age, my grandmother’s
quilt awaits a second beginning.
Made of her life and love,
softened from generations of use,
the faded, weathered fabric
holds memories inside the seams.
Strong, stoic stitches from her hand
now pull apart, fragile from passing time.
Ready to lend warmth, the quilt
surrounded my father, her firstborn,
gave comfort to other children
absorbed their innocent tears provided lullabies and loving wisdom never disappointed, never let down,
always faithful, forever near.
In the shadows of a golden afternoon,
while I drink tea precisely at three,
colored leaves fall from the oak tree outside,
while a whispering wind weaves the story
of simpler times and quieter days
like quilting stitches within the branches.
Walking under the magical light of a lavender dusk;
the crushed shell road crunches under my weary feet.
I am alone, with thoughts that blow and swirl around
to the incessant voice of high tide,
as if placing one step ahead of the other
gives the trusted answer.
Scoured by raw salty winds, aged by the sharp sun,
a splintered fence appears and meanders
among tall clumps of beach grass and crowded sea roses.
I take in the sky’s lantern watching
one sanctuary dissolve into another
Retreating into the shouldering dunes undisturbed;
I allow the quiet of stopped wind breathe into my veins
as sloping sand spills down
settling around my footsteps.
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Beginning March 20th, 2016 Poetry Breakfast will once again serve a little poetic nourishment every morning. Start your day with our new expanded menu. Poems, of course, are our specialty. But we will also be serving a fuller menu that includes poetry related creative non-fiction such as letters to and from poets, essays on poetry, and anything else that might feed a poet and poetry lover’s soul.
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