The Town Crier II

i know I heard my name

being called

i looked in the obituaries today

it was not there

why?

my name was called

i heard it

was it one of those paranoid dreams

fantasies I made up?

perhaps the

real world

is too hard

and I have slipped away

into a world

all my own

where I can be me

and not be judged

as crazy

i should not

be here

my name

was

called

Killer Words

unexpected judgmental 

 words

Going back decades

Tumbling forth

From every corner of the Universe

Killer words of

Heart and soul

Rippling through the 

Clouds over 

hills  and mountains

 Back back back

To

Dusty roads and

Silent condemnation 

For being born

Let the waves and wind

Rush in 

To let me 

Ride on waves or clouds

To drift forever

In unknown realms

Forever

Let me go back

Let me go 

Growing Up on Route 2/The Day Before

School started early in the deep South. Many were not as lucky as we were. We were permitted to start on time and not stay out to help with the crops. After school we did have to go to the fields to help. I was a sickly child to do much except carry the water to those who were actually doing the work.

Reality struck today as I walked the aisles of Target. Arriving in a bright shiny car, as opposed to the maybe getting to go to town with someone who had a car or truck; a store with groceries, clothes, jewelry, electronics, cards, lawn and garden as well as home goods and a pharmacy. All of these things were separate back then and some did not even exist. We were happy to have a battery operated radio.

The day before school started usually meant getting our hair washed and set and taking a real good bath the night before. The school bus would arrive by 7 a.m. but this is not about all of that. It is about walking all the aisles of the store today and seeing my daughter and son in every bright shiny face and remembering those days so long ago when I was a child so excited to be going back to school. All summer my mom would have worked at making our clothes and for me it usually meant having new clothes handed down from my sister. Mother was a great seamstress and our clothes always were better made than the ones purchased at the store. She kept abreast of the fashion by looking at the Sears Catalog. I never appreciated the hours she spent in making sure we were always clean and dressed well. We might have been poor but we never knew that we were poor because we always had enough.

We carried our lunch to school in a brown paper bag. The lunch I remember is having a sausage and biscuit long before there was a McDonald’s. I also remember that there were days I felt ashamed that I did get to eat in the lunch room and would hide behind a tree to eat my lunch. How lucky I was that my mother had made the best biscuits in the world and made enough so that I might have a good lunch and how stupid I was not to have appreciated all of that in the moment. If I could go back, I would choose an ordinary day; a day watching my mom sew or just doing all the things I never learned to do. All I was told to do was to practice the piano or to make sure I had finished my homework for the next day.

If I could go back to a more recent time, I would also choose an ordinary day with my children and put a note in their lunch bags to tell them how much I loved them and how sorry I was that I could not cook and sew. They were always clean and had a few new clothes but we were also poor, living in a nice neighborhood and not having what the neighbors had. Not just a “keep up with the Jones” sort of thing but in the fact that we did not get to take vacations and no longer had extravagant Christmas parties and presents. I often wonder if they were ashamed that their father had left and we were no longer middle class. All I know that if I could go back I would hug them more; praise them more; and try to be a better mom like my mom was to me.

I cannot go back and as my sister would say “that ship has sailed”. Soul wise it is stranded in the middle of here to there not knowing which way to sail or how to forget; the ship lost the way years ago and left the shore without a road map for guidance.

As students stream into Grissom tomorrow, my children will not be there even though I will still look out the kitchen window as the cars take other children to school and remember that I missed so many chances to be different; to make a difference; to have lived a different life. I will remember in the morning, as I gaze out the kitchen window, the two extraordinary children who chose me, for whatever reason, to be their mom.

Great Aunt Am’s Quilt

Pat Sinople quilted this top for me. She is a very sweet neighbor, always willing to help.

MotherĀ gave me the hand pieced top and stated that Aunt Am had pieced this top. It was kept with all the other old quilt but I could never find someone to quilt it for me.

Pat teaches quilting at her church…the prayerimage quilts are a favorite. When I showed her this quilt she volunteered to quilt it for the cost of the materials.

I need to photograph the back side to show her detailed work. Some of the material is from flour sacks; some is satin…she used whatever scraps she had. I am forever grateful for this act of kindness by my neighbor, Pat, for her 3 days of work to make this a top I can now showcase on a bed.

Critics

critic’s cheer mediocrity

fearing genius

would diminish

the politicians

the talking heads of TV

Having now read

their mediocre 

books

(Not that I would know

not being a famous author

just an ordinary reader 

reading

the Classics again)