The past cannot be changed and so be it.
Memories are tricky, colored through the lens
of a woman decades removed from the frightened
confused child that once inhabited her flesh.

Reflection proves hindrance to repeating history
indelibly seared into grooves of a young brain,
though truly I made my own mistakes;
surprised mostly at the anger
I suspect killed female ancestors before me,
channeled through gallbladder, heart valves and grief.

Unexpressed, emotions lick the interior
like flames snapping brightly from a campfire;
marshmallow memories and stars beyond stars,
night skies prompting snakes to sister up
beside warm bodies in sleeping bags
cosseted snugly by warm desert sands.
Battle hymns and cowboy songs split into rounds,
a family chorus contained within metal and glass
hurling us over one-lane roads into the wild.

Perhaps Dad should have remained a gypsy,
perpetually rambling across vast mesas
rimmed with scrub and blooming ocotillo,
leaving Mother her city shopping and lusty novels;
caravan stocked with erudition and pungent spices,
living out dreams of his own.

If that is my inheritance it is enough,
love of vast open spaces in which to ponder Creation,
moving steadily beyond pain and regret
into wonder at the plenitude of the Cosmos.

The past is dead but I am alive
and growing until I die,
empowering perspectives between present and past
now held more firmly within conceptual grasp.

young me-11

8 thoughts on “SERVED

  1. I think that was a wonderful inheritance.. And I am guessing you were among the four in the photo.. A very deep poem as you recall the past and ponder some more upon the repeated History..
    We all of us travel an emotional road.. entwined with grief and laughter love and loss… And we often at this time of year look back.. in fondness or perhaps sadness as Christmas time brings out the memories of what has gone before..

    A truly lovely poem to read..
    And as I call in.. May I wish you a wonderful Christmas as you make more memories for the future to come..

    Love and Blessings Sue ❤

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Sue. I’m the one in the white coat, standing with friends we traveled with on this particular outing (though this is our station wagon!). I do have three sisters who are not pictured here.
      It’s funny, but this post was not timed to coincide with the holidays, per se. I write Renshi poetry ( Japanese linked poetry) with four other women here on the island. We’ve been writing together for some time. Renshi is wonderfully inspiring to me as a poet, for what each of us is given is the last line of the previous person’s post in the ‘chain.’ We then have a week to fashion our own piece before passing it to the next person. (Her last line becomes my first, and on we go.) And though my poem is similarly linked in theme, it takes on its own flavor and nuance, given what comes in on the wings of that first line.
      So happy you enjoyed the poem!
      A big Aloha from my little corner of Hawai’i Island,

      1. How lovely, and Renshi Poetry is new to me.. How wonderful.. I know when I ran a Spiritual circle Development group I would ask my circle to link into their guides and write two lines of a poem.. asking each one to write it in turn. And then when all had finished writing, I would then as the first one to read out loud and follow on around the table.
        It was remarkable how the whole poem from start to finish all made perfect sense.. 🙂

        Thank you for pointing yourself out to me.. And I so thank you for your explanation..
        Enjoy your Christmas celebration upon your Island Bela. And My Blessings sent for a wonderful New Year..
        Sue x

  2. So many of us had station wagon cars! I think this reminds me of my own childhood. We get a piece of each of our parents and make our own way through life. I am part hippie, vagabond and gypsy soul. I have been married 3 times but not stayed with any of them, wishing someday to have a soul mate but not dying or grieving if I don’t! Smiles, Robin

    1. Aloha, Robin! Happy to have your comments. I too have been married three times, though the third is truly a charm. It seems to me that nothing comes easy in this human world that is truly worth having. Yet I’m blessed to have someone who is willing to engage the work of partnership with me. At times I think that’s all it really takes. And for me, witnessing the daily miracles in nature, well. Those seem effortless, so why am I wrangling with this or that or the other thing? Helps me still the mind and merge with the flow of creation. Peace, and Happy New Year!

  3. I resonate with this – reflections of the past, yet wanting to let go of wasteful nostalgia… and yet hanging on to what made us what we are today… then realizing that “now” is all we have and coming into our own, fully appreciating nature and the wildness that is innate in our spirits. We become ourselves and just want to fly. Nicely written!

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