20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


that day

    She arrives


    through the door

    light on her toes

    despite our

    few days of


    for years the

    weekly ritual.

    Our eyes meet
    grey to grey and
    her skin color mine,
    though reaching down
    to kiss her forehead
    seemed easier that day.

    Hands could always effortlessly wrap around
    my fingertips meeting at her sometimes ponytail,
    or mingling among those tangled golden curls.

    And when did her head snug in at my chest when we hugged?
    Like the kitchen door frame penciled ever higher in our old house,
    maybe our bodies will mark those imperceptable passages now?
    Time it seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn’t.

    my first poem
    written April 2012,
    revised April 2013


Losing Touch – Come back to me Mum

I see that glazed look
in your old eyes
the eyes that hold tears
wear and tear
from life
I feel your struggle
for recognition
of the past you
once knew
conversations had
Longing glances
to the distance
eye contact barely given
comprehension difficult
of those around you
your eyes can see, I saw you
yesterday, yet you had forgotten
feelings of loss
your life now changed
a burden you feel
to yourself and to others 
Like fitting the pieces of the
jig-saw puzzle
the pieces don’t seem
to fit anymore
trying to recollect
events of yesterday, or just a minute prior

Below is whom I write about tonight, her memory fades a little more each day and there is not a damn thing I can do to help her. If you wish to read a little more about this ‘English Rose’ that is my mum- please click on the below.



Finding New Places

There were her clothes, slacks in every color, warm sweaters, decorated sweatshirts, comfy shoes, even her underwear. I sat on her bed surrounded by it all. She was no longer here to wear any of it, but here I was, looking at it, feeling sad and perplexed.

What would I do with it?

Well, first is her blue and green winter coat. My mother’s favorite colors were blue and green, and this coat was so her. Perhaps I could wear it? No, it’s just a little too big. Seventeen years later, it still hangs in my closet.

I found new homes for the shoes. That wasn’t difficult.

But other things? Oh my. I wore some of her sweaters for awhile. I couldn’t wear the slacks because they had had to be large enough to wear over her left-leg prosthesis. Still, giving them away tugged at me.

You might wonder about the underwear. I thought of just throwing it out. But she had worn it, her most intimate and pretty things. I’d heard that certain little consignment shops took things like this so I washed up all her bras, panties and slips one last time. They looked like snow they were so white, as if never worn. Some were brand-new.

I sat there on her bed with its blue and green quilted spread, tears falling down at the import of my decisions. I thought, what will my children do with my things when the time comes? Oh look, her jewelry.

She had the most beautiful jewelry, chunky necklaces and dangly earrings. With her short straight dark hair those earrings looked terrific. She always wore six silver bangle bracelets on her left wrist. I have those still, and some of her other pieces. Well, I should admit that I kept quite a bit of her jewelry. She had exquisite taste.

I looked around her apartment. Pots and pans, dishes, silverware, towels, linens, bedspreads, pictures, furniture, decorations. I felt overwhelmed.

Today her round glass-topped table and matching chairs, her couch, loveseat and ottoman, and one twin bed are in our home. Some of her art and all of her poetry are here as well. I have the green pitcher with the fluted edging, which fits beautifully into my living room. She loved it, and I love it. It’s as if we have wound our love of it together to keep it important. I have some of her silverware and serving pieces.

Other than that, I have her last calendar upon which she had decorated the squares for everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries. I have the little red sparkly heart which she used to wear on sweatshirts. I kept her black baseball-type cap with the gold sparkles. My granddaughter loved it so, so I gave it to her. My mom would approve.

So far I have named things. The best I have are the feelings of love and security she gave me, the sound of her voice that resounds in my memories, the help she gave me with tenderness all through her life, and the blessings of having been her daughter.

I still am.




Turkey, trimmings, family, fun
Anticipation, cooking, finally, “Come.”
A glass of wine, an appetizer plate,
No more hours we need to wait.

The planning of this grand event
is fraught with feelings.
“Four’s too late,” says one, the other, “I wish three
is when we’d eat.”

The girls now disagree and I am caught
between my daughter, daughter-in-law.
Daughter’s going shopping, 4 AM,
and DIL says evening plans

have shown their face.
I want to placate everyone and keep the peace,
make all as happy as can be.
This seems beyond my boundary.

A sis-in-law and hubby come
tomorrow night to stay four days.
Their visit gives me joy,
and keeps the petty arguments at bay.

I hope and pray that peace will reign
around our table with no pain
or misinterpretation.
Holidays can be so tough.


A Meal.

Shaking hands prepared this meal,
Shaking hands finish this meal.

Mother and Daughter
Eat in hushed silence
Mother and Daughter
A suspense, turbulent.

Too quickly,
Daughter finishes her meal.
Too quickly,
Daughter leaves to another world

Too slowly,
Mother is left behind

A table littered with rice grains.
A clang of a spoon clattering on the floor.
Mother groans
Painfully picking it up.

With an empty chair,
Forever reserved



Ode to my Mother

She wore an old and tattered dress

She’d had for many years

Her face was worn, the lines revealed

The traces of her tears.

Her hair was pulled back in a scarf

To guard it from the wind

For 20 years I think she’d had

The coat she bundled in.

And with each step, she firmly held

The hand of her small girl.

Before they left the house that day,

She saw to every curl

She’d neatly pressed the clothes they wore

And shoes were polished bright

No scuff marks had remained on them

And they were fastened tight.

Though it was many years ago

The picture’s in my mind

A better or more loving mother

I could never find.


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