Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Beginning of Fear?

image found HERE
The Beginning of Fear?

I remember the feel of grass beneath my palm,
raised voices within Grandmother's house,
windows being shut, screen door banging against it's frame

and then a stillness, a dimming of the sky -
not so much dark as just off color
and my mother calling my name;

remember looking toward the small porch
framed with winding vines of red roses
and choosing to remain quiet.  I don't know why.

Vaguely remember a voice saying "I found her",
perhaps my older sister.   Look back and think,
perhaps this moment was the beginning of fear.

I don't remember descending the cellar
(that's what Grandmother called her basement)
do remember anxious voices, chilly dampness, the dark.

My whole life I've had this foreboding;
every watch, every warning transports me to that
uneasy disquiet as a toddler, looking skyward, transfixed.

by Margaret Bednar, August 26, 2017

I was not quite two years old when this happened, my mother told me (years later when I shared my memory with her) we had moved in with my Grandmother while our house was being built, our previous house having sold.  Where we lived in Northern Illinois tornadoes are rare - but this happened to be one that grounded fairly close - I didn't see it but I did feel the change in atmosphere - something I remember to this day.

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Fashion Me Your Words to Stretch the Imagination - Natural Disaster"  We were also supposed to add what part (the) God(s) play(ed) in the natural disaster.  But since this is a real memory and I was so little, I couldn't make that work.   So, I twisted the rules a bit (again) I suppose.



10 comments:

gillena cox said...

OK Margaret, so the gods stepped in and tweaked your innocence leaving you in a place of fear. I'll accept it. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for participating in the challenge

Much love...

brudberg said...

I really love how such a foreboding has been with you for all these years. I think such emotions will be with us all the time.

Julian said...

I find it interesting to learn how natural phenomenons lay in peoples minds once these events have passed. I can understand how you still carry that foreboding.

Kim Russell said...

An amazing event to remember from so young an age, Margaret, which is really effective as the memories are of sounds and lack of them:
'raised voices within Grandmother's house,
windows being shut, screen door banging against it's frame

and then a stillness'
and the darkness of sky and cellar - so ominous.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Your personal perspective in this poem transported me to the danger zone. Chilling.

Brendan MacOdrum said...

This was lyric and terrifying for me -- primal -- and for that the need for gods was found here, even if none are yet named. Well done.

said...

This is fantastic. My favorite part is this transition:

"and then a stillness, a dimming of the sky -
not so much dark as just off color"

Then this:

"looking toward the small porch
framed with winding vines of red roses
and choosing to remain quiet"

Toni Spencer said...

Those fearful memories of childhood when we become aware of fear - I don't believe in "gods" playing with our universe. I only believe in one God. This poem put me in mind of that God creating the tornado and the relief that was palpable when you were found. Here in Virginia we do not often have tornadoes but when we do...I remember several years ago a series of them hit this area and me huddled in the windowless part of the hall in our home clutching my wiggling cat and praying that my husband at work was safe. This was a scary poem and it was most effective.

Martin Kloess said...

This must have been quite something. Now all that remains is an adult's perspective of a mother's explanation of a fear born in a toddler. This is quite something

Margaret said...

https://www.facebook.com/stateobserver/videos/1567174429980456/