Rarely have I sought to write poetry. Oh, I’ve done it for 50-year celebrations, retirement parties, events honoring someone. And, yes, I’ve written them to/about my children on special occasions –when my daughter graduated from nursing school, for my son’s graduation from law school, on my youngest daughter’s twenty-fifth birthday. Mostly, though, poems come to me uninvited and unannounced –like the ones I have occasionally posted on my blog.
I wrote PICES after my mother passed away –“heard” it as two poems entwined with the second line a whispered secret: all my life my mother’s grief had been my tomb. In her death we both were freed.
The poem Merit Born, which appears in my book Darkness Overturned, was written when the director of a women’s shelter asked me to find a prayer or poem that could be used at their recovery meetings. I didn’t find anything I felt was suitable. Then one morning as I was showering I was visualizing the battered women at the shelter, their arms limp at their sides, and I yelled, “No!” Then the words came, spilling over me with great force, I am Woman – Sister, Spouse, Equal Master of my House . . .
Recently I have been struggling with growing older and hating it that I’m struggling at all! A few days ago a poem began to form deep inside me (which I am yet to complete) along with a vision of me on a swing whose chains are anchored with ceiling hooks in the sky.
In an arcing ride I am catapulted backward to where I am young again, my energy an explosion of joy and potential, then downward, downward to the low that is now, surely to be followed by an inescapable corresponding forward movement to old age –the apex of which I cannot envision. However, through the forming verse I am beginning to fathom that there may be another, like explosion of joy awaiting me.
Hung so high, sky so blue ~
By a wish and a dream, God let it be true!
I swing on a swing made of time that’s done
And time that is now and time yet to come.
I’ll post the entirety of Hung So High when it is finished. Meanwhile, I do have some clues as to its meaning unfolding in my heart.
Tucked under my not-so-young-any-more chin is the fruit of years passing: my six-week old seventh grandchild peeking out at his future. I hold him gently, quietly, while my heart spills over with joy. His life has just begun and is so full of potential!