by Bonnie B. Horton
Delta State University prof, Bonnie B. Horton, shares some of her beautiful poetry.
Around my granddaughter's throat I tie
a ribbon of black velvet and tatted lace.
Made by my great-great-grandmother,
Given to me by my grandmother, long cherished,
Now to be passed down, the ribbon creates for me
An epiphany of generations of young girls
Trailing generations of loving grandmothers
Whose spirits have stitched immortality.
Blue heron, anachronism of birddom,
Standing knee deep in a cypress break,
You offer memory and acceptance.
You have heard the primordial scream
And survived to bring the message
That nothing is new, merely rearranged
To suit our notions of time and space.
Will you be here when I face mortality
To assure me that I am yet to be?
Incomprehensible is nature's display,
tearing at the very fabric of my being.
The whipping rain and streaking lightning
rip in their own rhythm through the valley below.
The roiling clouds and splintering trees
depict a weirdly choreographed dance.
Rampant destruction has its own harmony,
inaccessible to those within the storm,
but, briefly, clear to me
safe above the thunder.
Rising out of the mist
the cypress trees are privy to dark secrets of Mother Earth.
Embryos of the primordial flow,
they stretch to join earth and sky.
The roots and knees struggle
to break through the ooze,
while clinging to stay grounded.
Dust-to-dust, but, in between,
they embrace the spectrum
of this worldly home, briefly,
before they enfold the fullness of Life.
With eyes cast upon the ground,
I unearthed an arrowhead, long buried.
Now it has surfaced to tell a story
Of pride, defeat, displacement, hope.
Its surface is worn smooth
By desperate hands and hot tears.
It is a message of survival
Emerging from a discordant history,
Bridging the sorrow and joy
To a new story, ready to be told.
On my secluded patio, stretched out
In the renewed sun of the vernal equinox,
I revel in the knowledge that it is Hump Day,
And the weekend is within grasp.
On a nearby lawnchair sits a cocky, bright red cardinal
Wooing the shy female on the chair beside him.
His lovely melody pierces the crisp spring air.
Finishing his song, the cardinal, full of anticipation,
Lands on the chair beside his love.
Coyly, she looks at him and hops to the next chair.
Undaunted, he again breaks into his beautiful song.
And, again, he flits over beside his beloved.
Then, among ruffling feathers and flapping wings,
Continues the celebration of Hump Day on the patio.
Sitting in front of the fire,
In my family's old oak rocker,
I remember my grandmother,
Sitting there with her knitting,
Stitching together generations.
The squeak of that old rocker
Is like a hug from my grandmother
Who rocked my father in that chair.
In the leaping flames of the fire,
I can see my granddaughter
In her father's arms as she is
Initiated into the mystique
Of that magical old rocking chair.
Splashed across the crest of a hill,
Homesight of vanished families,
The jonquils parade in full array,
Connecting me to previous tenants
Who are now a part of me.
Someday, these same yellow flags,
Still rooted tenaciously,
Will herald my return.
Again I will celebrate
Eternal lives being fused forever.
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