“I Could Not Prove The Years Have Feet”

Unlike me, Emily Dickinson never married, nor had children. She wrote poem 563 about time marching on and goals for her own personal growth. Today seems quite an appropriate time for me to post my version of this poem. My eldest child turns 39 today and the years have literally felt like they’ve had not just feet, but wings! The saying ” the days are long but the years are short” truly applies when it comes to raising kids. As I reflect on this day, I’m once again awed by the wonder and the miracle of birth. It’s something you never forget, no matter how many years have passed. And then there’s the bearing witness to their becoming, watching them turn into the people they were born to be while preparing them to grow confident and able to fully function without you. Each stage, with its joys and struggles teaches you something you didn’t know before you became a parent. It’s certainly true that we are their first teachers, but we learn so much from our children. ❤

Seafoam Memories

Certain places hold sensory and muscle memories, and bring special moments back to mind. The shore and ocean do that for me. As the tides move in and out twice each day, they bring forth and take away, reminding us that life does the same. Today, the first line of Emily’s poem #86 and the South winds blew the briny air and sent seafoam and memories of a past love, dancing across the sand and through my mind.

A Slant Of Light

Light carries so much symbolism, with our greatest source of it, the Sun, being one of the two things that all of life on our planet depends on. It illuminates and nourishes and without it, from plants to humans, life would quickly die off. In Emily’s poem, she used multiple literary devices and has the unknown speaker addressing the themes of despair, religion, nature, truth and transformation, all emanating from a certain slant of light streaming in or through. My poem is definitely less ambiguous and uncomplicated. It’s a nostalgic poem that I wrote by traveling in my mind back more than half a century. Well, that makes me sound ancient, doesn’t it! LOL

I have the fondest memories of sleeping in the attic bedroom at my maternal grandparent’s home in Virginia. Growing up, I spent most weekends and school vacations there. Beginning in 1946, my mother and her 3 sisters shared that room from the time the youngest was 2 until each one of them got married. I was born into that house and spent the first 22 months of my life there. Filled with memories, both literally and figuratively, it was a sweet haven that brought me lots of joy.

I’ve lived in a lot of places since then, (and I do mean a lot- 34 houses/apartments in my lifetime) but that house, my first home, I can still see it today in amazing Kodachrome detail. The smells, the sounds, the tastes, all like it was yesterday in my mind. The black and white parquet kitchen floor and the red table, where everything served tasted like love. The exact way the screen door sounded whenever anyone came in or went out. The white muslin cloth that was draped over the butter, sugar bowl and condiments that stayed there in between meals. Grandma standing by the woodstove, cooking Chicken Pot Pie or venison she or Pappy had hunted. Swinging on the porch swing with my Aunt Lou. Playing on Pappy’s car lift or rolling around on the garage creeper. Getting happy dirty and washing my hands in the garage sink with Gojo. Feeling safe and loved under Grandma’s quilts in the cozy attic bedroom my own mother grew up in. Being proud when I was finally big enough to go to the hen house by myself and get the eggs for breakfast. Digging potatoes in the garden and being sent down to the earthy cool root cellar for vegetables, pickles or sauces that had been canned and put up for the winter. Snapping beans, making butter, and enjoying a cool slice of sweet watermelon or hand churned ice cream outside on a hot summer day. Although my grandparents are both gone now and the house looked nothing like it used to when I drove by it 10 years ago, until their deaths it was the one place on Earth that stayed constant in my life, when it seemed like almost nothing else did. It always felt like my true home.

Perhaps this brought back some of your own memories of growing up. Hopefully you all have a place like this that you remember fondly.



Sweeping With Many Colored Brooms

Although she isn’t here to verify it, if you Google poem 219, every analysis points to Emily Dickinson describing a sweeping multicolored sunset and referring to it as a housewife. She began the poem with a figurative first line. I took the opposite approach and quite literally made it a simple and sweet poem, about a woman, going about her daily chores with colored objects that remind her of a loved one, lost long ago. The different colors of the brooms remind her of specific things about their life together. A life that existed in the past, but one that she remembers fondly.

We all have objects, places, songs, as well as colors, scents and foods that remind us of someone we loved. Just seeing, hearing, or tasting them brings the moments we shared with them back to life in our minds. In today’s Carol and Emily poem, I was reminded of the fact that there is dignity in all work, and that we can choose to do even the most mundane tasks with utmost effort, pride and joy, focusing on whatever it is that makes us whistle while we work and bid that dust and dirt goodbye.