Sunday, January 28, 2018


At the funeral home before we left for the cemetery

It was bitter cold beneath the canvas tent,
flaps drawn against the wind
a few feet from my father
enclosed for all eternity.

Chins and noses tucked into scarves,
hands gloved, pocketed into wool and down -
no reaching out, no holding one another.
Our solace was inward, reserved

careful to balance our feelings
if we dared take them out at all -
the fragile connections our eyes made
were difficult enough.

Thank God for my son,
his shirtfront wet with tears -
grieved openly for us all.

I give thanks for my sisters, my mother
who were there for Dad in the end
as I'd fled far away, decades ago -
never bending to the need
to set things right.

I don't feel guilty,
not yet.  I offer prayers for him -
hope that's enough.  It's a beginning
for healing and a continued promise
my children will never doubt
I love them.

by Margaret Bednar, January 28, 2018

for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Get Listed: Landslide Month"  words: solace, inward(ness), need, thanks.  

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Life Blood

A much younger Live Oak in Charleston, SC
(Not THE Angle Oak in John's Island)
Life Blood

There are few things more innocent than trees,
more long suffering, more accepting, more resolute.

I've walked beneath the stately arms of Charleston's Angle Oak,
traced the steadfast strength of her lumbering limbs upon the ground,
my fingertips tingling along her ridges and grooves -
stoically strong as only a grandmother's can be.

She was once a sapling swaying in John's Island Ashley breeze,
surviving humidity, hurricanes, humans.

And yet, old age doesn't weaken
but magnifies her purpose.
Unfalteringly virtuous, possessed of unflinching strength
that sustains and nourishes.

I've been drawn to other trees -

a weeping willow's waterfall of branches
sheltering me as a youth tucked away
with a book and dreams;

a cedar tree's towering strength still stands
along the tree line of my childhood home,
craggy branches reach out, nymph like,
sparse wispy needles tickle sky's blue -
I gaze up a bit dizzy, still feel so very small;

a beloved tree, long gone,
our horses grazing beneath thick branches
as we dangled our scrappy limbs from above
enjoying a bird's eye view of surrounding fields.


Reminiscent of a (grand) mother, an aunt, a sister.
There's an intimacy, a healing, a grounding
that courses through my veins,
making them more than mere memories.

by Margaret Bednar, January 18, 2018

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Wordy Thursday with Wild Woman - The Tree Sisters"

A glimpse of Angle Oak: