Friday, July 31, 2015

Poetry Friday -- Glimpses of a Journey

I have spent the month of July with Mom, getting her and her home of 60 years ready for her move to assisted living. Besides taking lots of photos, I saved a bit of time each day to take a snapshot in words. Here is a haiku-mosaic of July:

The move

the to-do list grows
fills heaping bowls of sadness
tears overflow

a childhood filled
with mother's sacrifices
daughter's turn now

shelves and shelves of books
multi-storied richness
wealth measured in words

going through dresser drawers
layers of memory
the archaeology of a life

two children
visitors at the museum
of their mother

an inveterate archivist
saver of minutiae
savoring each scrap of life

one more time

transplanting is tricky
handle roots with loving care
mix old soil with new

Meditations on the cycle of life and my place in it right now

midseason lily
surrounded by bud and wilt
enjoy it now

leaf breaks free
flutters away from tree
wind brings it back

Being in Eastern Colorado

ripening wheat
indiscriminate thunderheads
farmers remain hopeful

unseasonably cool
north breeze, low clouds, drizzle
roofer's gun pops

typically blue skies
smudged with a grimy haze --
Canada burns

antelope grazing --
green and lush prairie

Keri has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Keri Recommends.


  1. Dear friend, you have been on my heart all week. I hope there have not been too many heaping bowls of sadness, and that the move has gone smoothly. These are beautiful. I can't believe you found time for poetry, even in the midst of everything else…Sending lots of hugs and prayers eastward.

  2. This is breathtaking and heartbreaking. You are wise and good. Thank you for sharing your journey. It is a model for all of us who love. And those flowers! May they bloom forever in your yard and heart. Much love, ML. xo

  3. Your mother is lovely. This was a particular favorite of mine: "transplanting is tricky
    handle roots with loving care
    mix old soil with new" Sending you a hug, ML!

  4. Did this last year with both of my parents. It was something I was expecting for a long time, having seen my mother go through it with her own mother. Things change. Getting back to school will be good for you!

  5. Beautiful tribute to your mother--
    "a childhood filled
    with mother's sacrifices
    daughter's turn now"

    Thank you for sharing it here, Mary Lee. Your words inspire me always. Wishing you well as you savor the rest of your summer...Bittersweet times.


  6. I can see deep into your heart. Love your words.

  7. Thanks for sharing your journey, Mary Lee. Your haiku of July 11 summed up my feelings during the last months of my mother's life. Hoping that your mother's transition is as smooth as possible, and that you have the opportunity to make new memories with her.

  8. Mary Lee,

    I understand what you are going through. Just two months before my daughter's wedding in 2010, we had to move my mother out of the house where she had lived for more than sixty years.

    That two-family house held lots of memories for many relatives...because so many of us had lived "upstairs" from my parents over the years: my Uncle Benny, his wife and two children; my sister and brother-in-law; my husband and I; my paternal grandmother; my two nieces. I think we all left "stuff" in the attic. It took months to clean out the house.

    I wish we had thought to dig up and replant some of my mother's plants--especially her hollyhocks.

    I love your "Glimpses of a Journey." Some of the lines brought tears to my eyes.

    My mother, too, made lots of sacrifices for her family. I hope your mother's transition to new living quarters will not be a difficult one.

  9. Thinking about you, and this new transition for your family. Sending kind thoughts.

  10. ML, I have been thinking about you a lot this week. I hope that you have found strength and a sense of grace these difficult days. Thank you for the wonderful haiku. There are so many lines to like! Love the "visitors at the museum/of their mother", the leaf, and the transplant. What power in this poetry, such gentleness, too. Best to you.

  11. It is beautiful that you have given yourself and your mother a picture of this time, shown both the feelings and the respect for the things your mother treasured. I've told you that I've done it too, isn't easy, but the things our family have that "used to live" in another's home are things we treasure. I hope that will help your mother too. Best to you and your mother, Mary Lee. Your mother is beautiful. And, I saw someone talked about the flowers. I've carried flowers from house to house for a long time, treasures, too.

  12. Your mother is beautiful. What a tough thing to have to do. Thoughts and prayers are with you during this transition. I loved "two children/ visitors at a museum/ of their mother." Ah, the time, memories, and bittersweet goodbye.

  13. You have added to the gifts discovered by you, your mother and your brother this summer, Mary Lee. I love seeing your mom (and you, lifeguard girl!) in photos, and I too like best the "museum of their mother." You are brave to share.

  14. This is beautiful, Mary Lee. I spent some time with my parents this year as they were both going through some health issues. My mom has dementia and even though she can still be at home, it's hard. Your haikus resonated. You're in my thoughts.

  15. Mary Lee, my heart just gushed when I read this and I couldn't decide if I was going to cry or smile. Your collection of thoughts should be in a book of sorts. There are lots of photo/scrapbook places to easily put one together.

    This one looked interesting to me recently, it's an example for a child.

    Here's the company's site.

    The photos of your mom just beam with beauty. I'd frame those side by side. She's just adorable!

    I'm so happy to read you took this time to help her and be with her through a big transition. I bet it had a few bumps, maybe. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Thinking of you as you move through this transition, Mary Lee... love so much all the emotion you've captured in these images. Especially love "the museum" of your mother and the hopeful, beautiful flowers in the forefront of that photo of your mother's house. what a wonderful lens through which to process all these changes. xo

  17. What a beautiful tribute. Your words capture the feelings we all have during transitions in our lifetime. Thinking of you and how your support will make your mother's transition smoother.

  18. What a lovely post, Mary Lee.I've been through those "heaping bowls of sadness" when we had to move my mother. I love the idea of transplanting the flowers. I wish I had thought of doing that.

  19. Beautiful Mary Lee. I imagine writing these really helped you to process this huge transition.


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