|Photo courtesy of Magpie Tales, Tess Kincaid|
Musty stairs, filtered light,
my breath labored.
The attic, once familiar,
once comforting, is barren. Almost.
My grandmother's fading presence,
her history, whittled down
into a solitary cardboard box, its dented,
dusty corners bent with age.
Reverently I kneel,
my clasped hands unfold,
seeking memories within.
Hand cut paper people,
hidden for decades, greet me,
their accordion hands linked together,
I trace carefully written
curves and loops fading into sepia paper
and embroidered initials upon a
a cherished rememberance?
Fresh young faces from 1918 smile;
a first kindergarten class?
I tilt a frame, capturing dim light
and become hypnotized by
sensationally dark eyes
peering into my world, into me.
Backlit, she glows with antiqued vigor;
I realize this is "she", Jenny.
The one whispered about,
the one of whom questions
were not to be asked.
Eavesdropping, I learned a single tear
slid from the corner of her eye
moments before her death.
Intrigued, I never forgot,
hoped to one day know more.
Now I hold her in my hands, beauty preserved,
protected for all ages behind old glass.
I close the box, decide to keep
the "dancing people" and the photograph.
The "secret" remains hidden,
but her image is finally, once again,
graced by the light of day.
by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens June 20, 2011
Most recently, I submitted this to "Poetry Jam", December 6, 2011. I apologize if some of you have already read this poem. I'm real busy this week and wanted to participate in Poetry Jam.
This is for Magpie Tales #70. The photo that Tess Kincaid provided reminded me of a face that I have been fascinated with since a little girl. This poem is loosely based on a family "mystery", one that really cannot be answered as the last one to know the "story" was my grandmother. Jenny was her sister-in-law, my grandfather's much loved older sister. Jenny died in 1909. I loved walking up the wooden stairs to my grandmothers attic. The old beds and quilts and boxes were so much fun to touch and look through. I remember a box I loved to play with - it was full of all the things my grandmother used as a teacher of elementary children around the year of 1918. I believe this was one of her first classes:
I also submitted this to One Stop Poetry's "Form Monday". The topic is Free Verse, hosted by Shay, aka "Fireblossom-Word Garden". I have considered my writing a from of poetry, specifically free verse, but now, I'm not so sure. I am a newby at attempting poetry - hesitantly started in October of 2010. I don't mind hard critiques, actually welcome them. I might not have time to go back and caress a "poem" right away, but I can apply words of advice as I move foreword...
Also submitted this to OSP's "One Shot Wednesday"#51. By the end of the day on Wednesday, there will be well over 100 submissions!