Foxes and Magnolias

Poetry for keepsakes, for longing, for letting go.

Taylor Marie

For years I’ve known you turning flour into dough,

turning dough into beautifully risen breads or biscuits,

all of your rings in a neat little pile

as you press your palms into the mounds of dough,

flour dusting your forearms and apron.

 

Years ago, I learned to dry flowers from you-

gently tie the stems to a hanger

for a week or maybe longer

as moisture slowly bleeds away.

Hangers are set like ornaments in any sunned space

as each petal deepens in tone- pinks leaning toward magentas, reds becoming burgundy or the shade of merlot.

 

I’ve seen the way you’ve lit up when something is ignited inside of you.

I’ve seen the way you’ve crumbled when a fire goes out,

swept away the ashes and then learned how to glow again.

I’ve seen all the ways in which you are human without shame

and I have learned from you to cry.

 

And through all the years, I’ve seen the innumerable things you’ve cared for-

all the little children, your husband, your plants, the lambs you’ve raised and all the hens, your brother and mother and father, your many sisters, your creations, yourself.

I’ve learned from you to turn twigs to art

and that if you plant something

in the right soil, at the right time, anything can be grown.

I’ve learned from you to have every dream.

I’ve learned from you to be proud.

 

And whether you are kneading dough, drying roses

or teaching clumsy lambs to drink from its mother as it learns to latch,

you are seeding and spreading both love and life

like the wildest of flowers.

 

You know this-

everything you do, you grow from,

like a sprout lifting and bending towards the sun,

like the water of a river finding it’s way home to an ocean.

 

I am at home with you,

as you go on kneading dough and baking breads-

each motion filled with love and intention and all of your beauty.

Fertile Ground

Dig yourself into the layers of soil my body has sown for you
so we can watch the way a wildflower blooms.

Let’s grow gardens that’s a derivative of you
and me,
and love,

and tend to the tiny agriculture we seed between my bones.

Eternal

You are every color the sun spreads

and every bit of warmth it holds.

You are the soft features of a landscape

with the light gentle on its surface.

You are, too, the sharp features that shine when all else is in shadow

and the deep valleys that cradle the sun

when the sun’s been yearning to be held all day.

In the hours between when the sun sinks and rises,

you are the hope of tomorrow’s light

and in the morning you are the promise of light’s company again.

You are eternal.

My Grandparents Saw the Stars

When was the last time you saw the stars

like you told me you used to see?-

laying out on summer nights

watching them shimmer like a bucket of diamonds

spilled across the sky.

 

Now: a few,

maybe,

dull through the smog and lights.

 

Don’t you wish to see them still.

to spend another evening in your backyard

watching the sky gleam the way you know it can,

in a way that tells you that God is real,

or that shows you you’re alive again

in a way you forgot you knew you could be?

That everything around you is too.

 

The truth is that every night you have left to lay under that sky,

your stars are likely to lack luster.

But maybe one night I can see them glimmering like you did,

and my kids, and theirs.

 

Do something.

Do it for me and your other grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Do it for now and do it for later

and do it for all generations that deserve to see the sky like you did.

 

I’m trying too.

 

Though your skies may be forever dull,

I hope you can help to make mine shine.

 

Kisses from Heaven

When it rains,

is that just you

dropping down kisses from heaven?

When Looking for Answers, Listen to the Ivy

All the ivy

move like waves with the wind

as though breathing Yes

under its breath

Jeff

It was raining when I heard,

the skies were crying over you too.

 

I think you knew awhile ago it was going to end this way,

the rest of us just hoped you’d pull yourself out of it

sometime-

 

after falling for so many years,

we hoped you’d eventually learn how to not fall

again.

 

At least you aren’t falling any more.

Just lay easy, sweet man, and rest.