Monday, April 25, 2011

Just for Poetry Month-- my poem Blancmange

I want to publish this poem to honor all our military personnel, particularly those who have died and the loving family members that remember them. This poem is about the death of my 23-year old son who died in a car accident many years ago. This poem is solemn, but underneath there is bravery in the mother's grief. There is joy also, in having known such a wonderful son.


When someone leaves
the space left fills in slowly.
Water does seek its own level.
The backyard misses the dogwood,
but soon bamboo anchors the spot.
Or how when a son dies the emptiness
requires the mother's acts of bravery.
She begins new pursuits; her memorial to him.
Accounts are settled, documents gathered.
Book bag still full of homework
is shelved in his closet.
Each notebook and scratch paper
is now a relic smoothed and filed.
Her fingers a cradle on the receiver
as she explains his death to the friend
who calls from overseas.
Flannel shirts are folded and stored.
CDs and books are given to friends
who will age while his graduation photo
holds him forever-youthful.
Hours elapse with family and friends.
Rooms are cleaned more often,
the corners polished but spare.
The birds are fat at the feeders.
Soups and sauces cook in the kitchen.
And this pudding made without eggs,
its richness gone, exposes a delicate flavor.

Patricia L. Johnson

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