20 September 2011

Going Home: 53rd Abbey of the Arts Poetry Party

Poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes. 
~ Carl Sandburg

Christine Valters Painter over at Abbey of the Arts is hosting her 53rd Poetry Party!  Here’s how it works:

Christine picks an image, suggests a theme and title and you write a poem or poetic reflection in response.  If you have a blog, post it on your blog and then post the link at the Poetry Party.  On September 25, Christine will pick a random name and that lucky poet will win a space for her online retreat: Honoring Saints & Ancestors: Peering through the Veil

The theme for this party is Going Home.  I wrote the poem below back in May, when my father was in the hospital and we thought we were going to lose him. What poetry or poetic thoughts come to mind when you hear the phrase “going home?”

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

The Old Maple
© Mikaela D’Eigh 2011

The tree stands tall
And old –
had already sunk its roots deep into the heart
when we arrived thirty odd years ago.

Who knows
how long
it stood watch over lilac, pine, barn and cow,
its trunk full of secrets and memories.

How it comforted
            brothers –
one blue, one gray, lying beneath its shade,
leaving only bullets and bones behind.

And the rain
            silent, sad
that mingled with mother’s tears
when Flanders’ fields kept back her sons.

Then, ah peace!
A child, small
there found Austen and Bilbo
among the wide and changing leaves.

And solved mysteries
            with Nancy
and the Twins and the Boxcar Children
while cradled in its strong and loving arms.

I stand now before it
            a woman grown –
my life thick with experience and history
my heart full of secrets and memories.

This tree, this land
            strong, solid --
brings the comfort as of old friends,
and keeps me grounded and alive.
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