Love to My Dog

How do I love thee!? Let me count the ways. from Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? I love thee unequivocally. Let no man deny true friendship with a dog. How do I love thee? With undeniable comradery. I seek no other desire but to walk with you everyday as you pull on the leash and sniff so boldly. How do I love thee? With double blessings to have you in my life against all odds of never having another pet. Your nickname Never Again. How do I love thee? With every passion welled up inside of me as you sit so earnestly for a treat. How do I love thee? Robustly and vigorously while scratching you behind the ears as you greet me at the door. How do I love thee? Undeniably.

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A love poem for NaPoWriMo Day 10.

Love to My Dog

In Mother’s Room

I am in my mother’s room. It was the kitchen. Here she was the boss. The pots and pans were hers, the dishes, all the ingredients that fed the family. She kept us together with her mashed potatoes, green beans and meat loaf.

She nourished us with sweets made each Sunday. She poured the cereal of life into us each morning and sometimes when it was 20 below zero outside, she called from the kitchen, “Jane, French toast is ready.”

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dVerse prompt to write from a first line of a novel. I used Samuel Beckett’s “I am in my mother’s room.”

In Mother’s Room

Peanut Butter Cookies

Mother made cookies. Peanut butter cookies. She would roll some dough in her hand, make a ball, and place each ball on the cookie sheet. With a fork she would crisscross each one flat. When out of the oven we ate them warm or dipped in cold milk. Every time I bake peanut butter cookies I do the same. I add more peanut butter but I roll the dough in my hand, press the fork and think of mother who loved baking peanut butter cookies for my sisters and me.

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NaPoWriMo prompt to write about a habit I got from my mom. I love making peanut butter cookies (and chocolate chip).

Peanut Butter Cookies

Family Name

I followed my family name

to Yorkshire cemetery

where those old family headstones

held the dates of birth and death

those old Anglo Saxon names

etched upright in native stone

surrounded old Roman church

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bell tolled to gather us in

stone baptismal at the door

I drank from silver chalice

the vicar offered me

in the rite of communion

aware of ancestral lips

that had taken worship there

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I search Proctor family name

Old English word proketour

occupational surname

for those who worked as steward

from the Latin procurare

to manage spiritu cors

keeper of the key— that’s me

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NaPoWriMo prompt to delve into your name

Family Name

Wings

It was the first death I could remember—-my father’s father, my grandfather. It came as a surprise, an aneurysm, as the family sped on the highway trying to get to the hospital. We were too late. I never saw the body.

How could I make sense of death at such a young age?

When we returned home, I picked the butterflies off of the grill of the car. These were dead, their soft bodies smashed, the wings intact. I took those colorful wings to the garden across the street. I sat under the overgrown asparagus in the corner of Laird’s garden and buried the butterflies one by one.

life is a flicker

mind what is most beautiful

pathway to the rest

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dVerse prompt on how nature plays into our lives. This is a haibun about a death and how nature played a role in how I dealt with that death. I was six years old and loved butterflies.

Wings

Picking Cotton

MEMORIES of cotton picking days

picked along with men and women

all over the South

people of all colors

fourteen footer dragged behind

filled with cotton

picked from each boll

start when you’re old enough

to hold a sack

sang in harmony

as we picked

infant scooting behind

too small to pick

“cotton on the roadside

cotton in the ditch

we all picked cotton

but we never got rich”

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photo from SMU Degolyer Library

Picking Cotton

Ode to Staying Home

What a great place to be

being with family

no place to go

watch rain

wind or sunshine

pass outside

window panes

listening to songs of hope

trying to let go

of privilege &

wondering

how will we return

into this world?

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NaPoWriMo prompt on ode to a simple thing— a simple act of staying home contrasted with how to enter back into the world.

Ode to Staying Home