I am preparing this week for my daughter’s baby shower and I think of all the family before me. I loved them so, they would be so proud of her…
I think it was chocolate mahogany
large rounded carved ornate legs
coming down under the broad leaf table.
Grandma made the green gingham tablecloth spread across
over a protective plastic lining beneath.
Seven places for the family in the evening meal,
three generations of grandparents, parent, children,
head of the table Granddaddy sat quiet, not saying much.
At the other head, was Grandma; she would talk about the day.
Who did what when, and “lord, it is hot today.”
Mother sat in the middle of my little sister and me.
She often didn’t say much, when she did, it was measured.
My older sister sat across from me with her light brown hair,
blue eyes that never smiled.
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Happy Birthday William Shakespeare
Perched below the shaded trees,
cools the sun’s luncheon rays.
Crossed in contemplation knees
are the enchanted Shakespeare days.
Tempered heat of springtime lawn
varid carpet lays beneath.
Lurching words without alarm,
bid from metamorphous sleep.
Anthony and Cleopatra fight,
as sonnets woo the lady’s fare.
Henry the IV comes from the night,
poets and lovers, a wispy pair.
The yeoman genius now buried in tomb,
leaves with the youth a place to learn.
While even when he left the room,
all other works are now discerned.
What You Do Not See
You do not see the tears left deep inside.
You do not see the smiles from years gone by.
You do not see the pain from labored days.
You do not see the restless night always
Waking in the early morning and staying late
Praying for a good day and avoiding fate.
You do not see so much in photos shared.
You do see however, how much we cared.
Copyrighted: CMM 2016
The Sound I Did Not Hear
The summer was hot for my brother and me.
only in the 3rd grade, stringy hair, and bone skinny.
Sent to help my uncle on his farm in the panhandle
we woke in the morning watching the sun rise
and fire ants crawl across the back yard picnic table.
We spent long hot hours on the screen back porch
shelling peas and shucking corn looking at the full baskets.
We were children, wanting to play, but could not.
Given allowance only enough to buy candy to rot our teeth,
we were forced to share the candy beads with others.
My brother and I would hide under the wood shingled house
where spiders and darkness surrounded the old yard dog escaping the heat.
The sun baked the Florida sand between the rows of corn
as we trampled quickly so not to stand long enough for our feet to burn.
We were children, responding to a situation we did not chose.
So cleverly we hid some of the beans that needed shelling into a basket;
a basket of hulls already shelled by our tire-sore child-like hand .
I will never forget the summer on the panhandle not because
of the hard work imposed on us…
I will never forget the sound of my brother in the room beside mine.
The sound of a belt being taken to him by my uncle without a pause;
a sound that made my skin crawl and my ears hurt.
Equally I will not forget the sound I did not hear.
I did not hear my brother —the sound of never hearing him cry—
copyrighted: CMM 2016
To my daughter and all the long conversations we would have in the morning before starting our day.
I sit before you all that I have,
It isn’t the coffee that is the gift,
It is the importance,
I sit before you and we drink,
Smelling the coffee,
Pour into the gift,
Of you and me,
I sit before you.
© CMM 2013