Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Mother's Careful Lament

The garden walk is covered now with dreams too vague to tell
The twilight lays its garment down on field and wooded dell
The path, once trampled hard as stone by wee and tanned bare feet
Is silent now and overgrown with memories bitter-sweet

The blooms, in wild abandonment of staid propriety
Fling faded petals to the wind in jaded wisps of glee
And thoughts twist upward, upward only to descend at last
To rest within a mother’s heart where she can hold them fast

The night-shaped silence amplifies the sense of ticking time
The cricket anthems fall and rise; dissonant rhythm and rhyme
She cannot feel the fingertips which steal the hurried hours
But simply feels small hands that slip away in search of flowers

The consciousness of letting go is like a heavy shawl
The ache within is keen and slow, love’s sweetest pain of all
The windless night is dark and deep, the earth a dew-filled cup
A world where little children sleep and dream of growing up

Janet Martin

I was sitting on my deck after dark tonight, gazing at the moon-lit remains of a tumbled garden.

This poem is for all the mother's who feel the ache of letting go at this time of year.


  1. That reminds me of a paragragh in Beth Poundings bookm I read last night.In the crushing cold I sense the relentless passage not of time but of repetition;the circling pf the planets,the logic of interstellar mathematics.Of what consequence is my caring?Of what use is the glimmer of moonlight,the deceptive depth of shadow?Inside myself I hear both the silence of the universe and the noise of life.And I stand between.

  2. Beth Powning??? I knew you would LOVE her insight and gift of words. I just didn't realize you borrowed it, which explains why I could not find it last night:) Totally okay. I knew you were debating whether you wanted to wait until you're old, like me. Enjoy!

  3. Sorry and thank you!!!When I.m old like you I'll read yours.:)

  4. You're nice:) Now look whose scared!!!

  5. I had to send a link to this poem to my daughter-in-law. Something in it reminded me of her and her children. It's amazing.

    Janet, I don't know Lucy Martin, but if you need some help getting her to write something in that empty blog, we can gang up on her.

  6. Hi Mike,
    Lucy is my sister. I told her what you said about being a cop and sometimes not knowing what was on the other side of a door where you were going to be the first one through, and how you felt more terror at posting your first poem than you did at breaking down a door!that it's normal to feel fear when it comes to sharing what's on our inside. Mike, with enough help/pushing/encouraging she won't be able to resist!

    I'm glad you liked the poem.I was restless last night with a lot of jumbled emotions that just needed to be poured into something. A poem was all I could come up with, though I really wish I was musical enough to write a song! Sigh...

    I hope your weather is as grand as ours. Jim is stuck in flood-traffic in New York.

  7. ...Jim, in case you're wondering, is my husband.

  8. Janet, Mike P pointed me in this direction, and I'm so glad he did. The poem brought tears to my eyes - tears of empathy, nostalgia, and wishing to turn back the clock. It is full of beautifully chosen images, including the night-shaped silence.

    word verification for this comment is "copitur" - how appropriate for Mike!

  9. Viv, My son came to me last week, (he's 13 and the one who always toddled with me in the garden:)and with trembling lips ha said, 'mom, you know what I just figured out? Nothing stays the same for very long.' His words caught in my heart as I told him that he is so young to observe this but it is so, so true.And then I reminded him of one thing that stays the same forever, the only thing actually, Jesus Christ. This plus many other little 'tug-moments' inspired this poem.
    I really appreciate you and Mike.
    Thank-you for your kind words.

  10. If Lucy writes anything like you do, we have a moral imperative to get her started.

  11. To be honest, Mike, I'm not sure if she writes, but she is an avid reader
    and would have much to share in her own creative style.

  12. I've been catching up a little this afternoon on your writing... this one really struck a chord with me :) Thank you for sharing your God-given gift with us!

  13. Megan, I thought of you as I wrote this poem. Your kid's are still small, but not as small as they used to be... Letting go is love's continuous sacrifice:) How did Olivia's first day of school go? How did 'mom's' day go?

    I always get sentimental at the end of summer.


Thank-you for stopping by my porch! I hope you were blessed!