Measuring

Monday Morning Musings:

Early Morning, Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

Measure by measure—

in hope and despair
from winter bare to sun-charged air

we smile through tears
with spirits brightened, but still the fears

of what comes next?
Another crisis, another text

of sorrow or disaster.
Can we master

moving from the passing of this year?
Too many lost, but we’re still here–

and so, we live as we’re able,
finally meet across a table

to eat and laugh, while those who’ve passed
remain within our memories, clasped

in synapsed snapshots, held fast,
until all is faded, at last,

everything balanced, a measure
of sadness, a finding of treasure

in the remembrance of what she said,
those words, like a thread

linking us, a connection
a form of resurrection

in “do you remember?” Phrases bright—
like the promise, with shadows, there’s light.

Ripples. One Year. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

April is a strange month all over, it seems—one day cold, one day warm, full of storms, and also flowers. A bunch of tulips that we didn’t plant have popped up in our garden.

Yesterday was the first anniversary of my mother’s death. Now that we’ve all been vaccinated, we went to our younger daughter and son-in-law’s house—and for the first time in over a year, hugged and ate inside. She made us a tapas feast, and I baked a chocolate cake in my mom’s memory.

My husband and I both got haircuts for the first time in over a year, too. Woo hoo! We celebrated with a date night at home and streamed the excellent production of the Lantern Theater’s production of Measure for Measure. It was a filmed production from a few years ago. The play is very timely. We watched the movie, Promising Young Woman, (rental from Amazon), which my husband and I both enjoyed and thought was very good—great acting, direction, and soundtrack. Both play and movie will inspire discussion.

Remembering

Monday Morning Musings:

My mom and me. I’m about 3 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“History says don’t hope

On this side of the grave.

But then, once in a lifetime

The longed for tidal wave

Of justice can rise up

And hope and history rhyme.”

–Seamus Heaney, “Doubletake”, The Cure of Troy

Lines quoted by Joe Biden at DNC 2020

 

My Mom’s Last Birthday Party
Remember when blowing out candles on a cake was something we did?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mother would be ninety-eight today–

we’d hug and kiss, and smile in the way

 

you do with people you love–when we could and did,

we never thought it all would end, we’d bid

 

farewell to normal hopes, and sail into tomorrow

on boats barely afloat, fueled by sorrow

 

and a bit of hate. Yes, for the dissembler and enablers

who’ve made the situation worse. The world’s more unstable,

 

increasing so every day. And yet they play with clichéd lines–

heavy-handed, rabble-rousing—creating conspiracies, signs

 

of the time and getting worse. The storms come, the fires burn

still the seasons, turn, turn, turn—

 

I walk and think of flowers, our year of sitting amidst blooms,

the garden a refuge of sort from boredom, doom, the rooms

We spent a lot of time in this garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

that confined you—and us–as we kept you company,

week after week, watching for changes, hungrily

 

asking you to remember the past, but wanting you to see

what you could of now, of me,

 

and we ached, all of us,

and we’d discuss

 

each change, each day, the words you’d say

of imaginary pets and our dead father, weigh

 

hope, laughter, grief in equal measure

and still remember and treasure—

 

a gift you’ve given me, to lift my face to the sun

to see that there are many, not just one

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

way to see color, beauty, light

the way it changes on the water and fades slowly into night

 

Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

where perhaps I’ll hear a mockingbird sing farewell–

a lullaby rather than a knell–

 

a song of love, of peace, of rising up–it’s time,

it’s time, that hope and history rhyme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As some of you know, my mother died in April from Covid-related complications. Today she’d be ninety-eight. We couldn’t be with her when she died, and we haven’t really had a memorial. Tonight my husband, daughters, their spouses, and I will have a virtual dinner get together. I baked my and her favorite cookies over the weekend, and I’m baking a cake today.

Madelbrat (aka, Mommy Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Thursday, my husband and I had a date night at a winery. We bought tickets a month before, but we were fortunate that the humidity was gone that day, and it was beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And After

IMG_2527

 

An ache—and after–

she lives

in rain whispers,

moon music,

and dappled light

 

~winging through trees~

 

the crows call, and I laugh

a dream of ifs, why, and how

love is a recalled–

the scent of roses

on a summer breeze, lingering.

 

A puente from a collaboration with the Poetry Oracle. She truly does know everything. My mother died one week ago.

January 20, 2017: A Quadrille

In 1799, George Washington died,

the nation cried,

with solemn faces,

tears leaving traces,

salt licks of grief.

No relief,

we look at the past,

and fear the future casts

black shadows—so we mourn,

torn

between hope’s whispers, freedom’s shout,

resist, watch out.

 

Another quadrille for Dverse.