NaPoWriMo – Day #11

Today I am cleaning closets.
I am the archaeologist
of my own life,
of my family.
I sift through layers and remember.

There is the High School Era
with my kids’ athletic medals
solo and ensemble ribbons
musical programs
home burned CDs
report cards and reports
dried and crumbling prom flowers
and so many pictures
of those brave, innocent faces
with a knowing in their eyes
that wasn’t yet beaten or
swindled out of them
that they would change the world
and the fresh young bodies
barely able to be still
long enough
for the snap of the camera

The Elementary School Era
with exuberant little-kid-bright crayons drawings
rippled watercolor paintings
ribbons for history day projects
and science fair projects
and some of the projects themselves
special stones
random game pieces
lopsided coil pots
and handmade cards
ending with “I LOVE YOU”
And photos that squeeze my heart –
smiles with missing teeth
and now-dead pets
first days of school
birthday parties
sledding and swimming
and sitting with grandma and grandpa

Then there is evidence
of the big extinction
when my mom
and later my dad
died.
There are two
black and white plaid bags
from the funeral parlor
four years apart,
but each filled with cards and notes
a slim, white prayer book
a guest book
a silver cross
and a bill of sale.

And that’s a far as I can dig today.

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NaPoWriMo #10

Three strands
twisted into one
three lives
woven together
this bond we call family

I’m not satisfied with this for a number of reasons, but I don’t have the time to fiddle with it. Such is the nature of NaPoWriMo! Maybe someday I can improve on it.

The Matriarchs’ Charm

Take hungry grins full of spittle
place sticky, beating hearts in the middle
and twine with salt and pepper hair
through endless days and nights laid bare
Add pebble, bone, root and feather
then wrap in tales and bind together
 
Wipe your brow and bow your head
spill blood upon the marriage bed
Now cross yourself – once, twice, thrice
and you become the sacrifice

This is for the Imaginary Garden for Real Toads where we were challenged to write a charm in ten lines or less.

Grandma’s Kitchen

Grandma’s kitchen
was not tidy or spotless
the linoleum was worn
and the cabinets had seen better days

but Grandma’s kitchen
smelled of Heaven-
of fresh baked bread
and safety
and story books
with happy endings.

Grandma’s kitchen
always held some special treasure:
shining jars of red currant jelly
iridescent blue feathers
a speckled stone,
or even a cardboard box
full of kittens.

But best of all in
Grandma’s kitchen
was Grandma and Grandpa

This was written in response to a prompt from Karin over at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.  She asked us to try just writing, nomaterwhat, for seven minutes.  The take whatever we have from that and work with it.  This is a technique for helping get through writers’ block.  Click on the link and check out what others have written.