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 had 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 more 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

Three Poems of Our Time

 

Don’t Touch

 

I want so much

to wipe my eyes

from tearing up

these hands held

together

in hope

 

 

 

Together as a Family

 

Now that we are together

as a family

she can cook

I wash

he will dry

we will eat together

in thankfulness

 

 

 

Another Day

 

Another day

of washing hands

disinfecting countertops

& groceries

staying in

holding on

Three Poems of Our Time

Togetherness

It was the end of summer.  The family had spent a few weeks in Iowa where my mother was now in hospice because of cancer.  Both grandchildren spent time at her bedside and played with cousins, saw  aunts and uncles and enjoyed the rare occasion of the whole family being together.

My younger sister would be the nurse.  She had the training.  I was worthless and returned home so the children could start school.  In a few days I got the call.  I booked a ticket to leave the next day.  The children wanted to know why I was going again, since I had just been there.

When your mother dies, you go there.

Togetherness

Yellowjackets

A yellowjacket is not a bee

it is aggressive

stings multiple times

eats meat and honey bees

My daughter stepped in a hive

we were walking in the woods

off trail when buzzing

erupted out of the ground

Run I yell

we all ran towards our house

I licked her three year old’s wounds

with baking soda and kind words

love that child with all her stings

Yellowjackets