This Blue Fairy’s Life

Random stuff…straight from my head to your computer.

Sad and Free October 30, 2012

Filed under: Family,Life,Poetry,Writing — merrywether @ 8:17 pm

I wrote this poem a few months ago, after the death of my grandfather this past March. What started out to be a poem about the “new” grandma that I met post-grandpa (more of her personality, without the worry, stress, and anxiety of caring for a senile octogenarian has come to the surface), turned into my take on watching her care for my grandfather, and how everything she wanted took a back seat to her one true love’s needs. If you and I are personally acquainted, please be advised that I have not shared this with my grandmother; it’s too soon for her to see it. It may never be time for her to see it, but it was important that I write it.

Sad and Free

You have been

so angry,

so anguished,

so alone with your thoughts for

so long.

 

“Lena, get me a coffee”

“Lena, I need to go”

“Lena, where’s my dinner?”

 

A slave to your beloved sailor’s needs,

You instinctively ready your legs to move at the littlest cough;

The choking scares you witless.

You explode when the plate is pushed away after a few bites.

“But at least he ate something” we soothe.

You take it personally.

He never disliked your cooking before.

Now he wants grilled cheese or bologna.

He wants ice cream.

He has more in common with his great-grandchildren than he does with you now.

 

We see you are weary.

Your insistence on keeping him home pleases him

but wreaks havoc on your body and mind

Until he falls for the third time.

Three strikes and you’re out.

 

Sixty-five years of marriage

in a teary renewal of wedding vows,

surrounded by family,

In the nursing home.

 

Every day we bring you

to sit in his room.

You take walks.

You watch television.

“When the hell can I get out of this damned place?”

 

The new laptop gathers dust and is brought home.

The new cribbage set is tucked away in a drawer.

“We’ll play when we get home”, you say.

You know and we know that isn’t in the cards.

 

Seven months is a long time of begging – you bring him home.

For one week

You give him grilled cheese and bologna.

You give him ice cream.

He drinks his favorite Taster’s Choice coffee

 

“Lena, get me a coffee”

“Lena, I need to go”

“Lena, where’s my dinner?”

For one week.

 

Pneumonia.

 

“Lena”, he whispers now.

No more ice cream,

Coffee,

Grilled cheese,

Or bologna.

You both are gaunt and exhausted.

It’s time to say goodbye

To your even keel.

 

You are like a child as we hold you

And each other.

The stars and stripes

Laid in your arms

And a single trumpet

Herald the final sendoff

For your sailor’s final voyage back

To his Commanding Officer.

 

And you, grandma, as you always have

Stay and keep the home fires burning.

Sad and Free.

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Angel Girl March 2, 2011

Filed under: Family,Life,Poetry,Writing — merrywether @ 11:15 pm

It’s my mom’s birthday today. I wrote her a poem last summer – she loved it. I thought I could do better. Of course I could draft it a thousand times and still find it’s incomplete, or somehow lacking, because let’s face it, my mom rocks. There’s no one I admire more or respect greater. So I made a revision, and I offer it here as a virtual gift to my mom, an angel on earth.

 

Angel Girl

From humble beginnings and early loss

Angel Girl lives between Hyde Street

and Eastern Avenue

raised by godparents

with father’s help

and mother’s heavenly blessing

 

Mount St. Mary’s girl,

Miss Congeniality

youthful exuberance, fun-loving.

I wish I had known you then.

Would we have been friends?

 

Angel Girl becomes Cape Cod college girl in love

dreams and plans in place,

suddenly derailed.

Soldier boy fiancé writes home with trepidation

 

Wedding called off.

Angel Girl deflated.

Returns home.

 

Old neighborhood friend tends to

wounded angel heart –

“Marry me – I’ve always loved you”.

She always knew.

 

To the priest she seeks to change the date…

 

and the groom.

 

That’s Angel Girl – pure moxie!

 

Daughter number one arrives

Shirley Temple curls and sensitive demeanor –

Angel Girl’s sweet, little one.

 

Daughter number two follows;

Angel Girl’s doppelganger

with blonde hair, skinned knees,

and love of bugs and dirt.

Mother’s moxie, revisited.

 

Angel dad moves in.

Lives long enough

to know

his granddaughters.

Passes knowing

Angel Girl

is safe,

loved,

and needed.

He can rest now.

His legacy lives in her life well-lived.

 

Daughters grow,

daughters love,

daughters make Angel Girl proud.

 

Angel Girl creates,

inspires

loves.

 

Crafty

generous

resilient

loyal

strong

 

Forty three years later,

still madly in love.

Everything          happens             for          a             reason.

 

Fruits of life

grow and divide

 

Divine grace enters

 

Three wild and wooly grandsons

sprung from daughters’ wombs,

spread brilliant, lively wings

 

and transform my Angel Girl Mother

into their Angel Girl Gram.

 

Kim Sutherland

rev 3/2/11

 

 

Dusk with Frankie August 7, 2010

Filed under: Family,Motherhood,Poetry — merrywether @ 11:32 pm

Dusk with Frankie

It ends up like this:

Frankie

settled into his car seat

no radio.

I steer us toward the setting sun

The rhythmic lull of the tires

against smooth pavement

brings a slowing to the heartbeat.

The air cools,

tucks away the heat

of the shining moments

and the angst of the

tasks of daylight.

Softly, I hear from the back seat,

“mom, we are cruising through the darkness”.

Not a question, but an observation.

Off-ramp carries us home

through winding, wooded lanes

Crickets and bullfrogs

carry the only conversation now

as they prepare their evening’s work

in the employee lounge at the pond;

we think it’s a staff meeting.

As darkness spreads its arms

across the horizon

like an open parachute nearing the earth,

we scurry into the house

avoiding the buzzing of the mosquitoes

who consider us their lunch

My intrepid co-pilot climbs into bed

and is wished safe travels

for the next leg of his trip

in the clouds of his dreams.

-Kim Sutherland

 

Control Freak

Filed under: Life,Poetry,Uncategorized — merrywether @ 11:26 pm

One of the readings in the summer institute was a poem by Mary Oliver entitled West Wind #2. A great strategy for obtaining writing material is to share readings with one another. The reading might evoke some sort of memory, thought, opinion, idea, etc… that can be used to craft our own pieces. Mary Oliver’s piece had nothing to do with being a Control Freak, but that’s where the poem inspired me to go. I’ve printed it below. Read West Wind #2 here if you wish: http://www.panhala.net/Archive/West_Wind.html

Response to Mary Oliver’s West Wind #2

Control Freak

Life is messy. That’s just the way it is. Glass breaks, car engines stall, and dinner overlooked burns in the oven. The mess, however, is important – necessary even, in creating an existence worth the constant beating of the heart in your chest. Control is an illusion one uses to create order – order which will never reach your high standards. The cat won’t stop clawing at your sofa, your daughter won’t choose the college you want her to attend, and your husband won’t stop leaving his clothes in a heap on the floor of your bedroom. Despite these glitches in your master plan, you will live. You will shrug your shoulders at your skinned knee, your son’s ripped sweatshirt, your lover’s affinity for atrociously foul-smelling pork rinds, and you will surrender yourself to this life that spins beyond your control.

Kim Sutherland 7/20/10

 

small, but important repairs August 13, 2009

Filed under: Family,Motherhood,Poetry,Uncategorized,Writing — merrywether @ 11:57 pm

small, but important repairs

Spider Man Band-Aids
for cuts and scrapes

kisses and hugs
for bumps and tears

words of praise
for little, easily-bruised egos

a lollipop
to relieve boredom
during grocery store and bank trips

a sticker
after being brave
for the nurse’s needle

a gentle caress
of a cheek or chin,
to smooth a furrowed brow

a security blanket or night light
to ward away the monsters of the dark

a parent’s backrub
that tells a little one
that he’s

exactly

where

he’s

supposed

to

be.

 

                                                Kim Sutherland

 

Taber’s Knoll

Filed under: Poetry,Uncategorized,Writing — merrywether @ 7:42 pm

A poem inspired by a recent visit to Fort Taber in New Bedford, MA.

 

Taber’s Knoll

 
Disheveled thyme green knoll

pedestal to local history

standing stalwart against

cerulean skies,

lemon-kissed sunshine,

and ocean breeze whispers

Holds the ramparts
in honor of toiling hands and broken backs

Bricks now graffiti-adorned
where freedom fighters
stood,
battled,
prayed 

Weeds work their way across the rotting threshold

where civilians are no longer welcome-

but content to travel the perimeter

in ignorance

to the crimson blood and salty sweat of sacrifice,

with which the sneakers on their feet were bought.

 

Taffy

Filed under: Poetry,Writing — merrywether @ 7:36 pm

 

 

Taffy

Pulled in multiple directions

Soft enough for a little boy’s hugs

Pliable enough to share with a classroom of demanding students

 

A combination of salty and sweet

To satisfy a husband’s appetite for companionship

 

Bite-sized for portability

I never stay on the shelf for long.