Saturday, October 31, 2020

A picture is worth a thousand words... and a few colorful words from me

Bill and I bought fast food lunch and headed to the park. When we came upon this tree, the colors were so vibrant, the lime greens shocking, the yellows blinding, the oranges warm as a sunshine... we had to get out of the car and take a photo. I am so grateful for my eyesight and nature's gift. 

The following poem was published in Quivre River anthology, 11/10.
I wrote it after visiting my best friend in New Hampshire who was
suffering from memory loss. This is one of MY favorite memories.

Hitching a Ride on a Song

Bacon sizzles on wisps of wood smoke and weaves
through autumn leaves in hues so bright it makes me squint. 
Outside my best friend’s cabin, I watch the morning sun scorch 
the surface of Newfound Lake and ignite the tree-tops. 

A breeze dumps nature's treasures at my feet 
like contraband from a bad boy’s pockets.
Enthralled at the frisky fall foliage, I set my coffee mug down
imagine slurping cherry Kool-aid from the red sugar maples, and

swallowing the butterscotch nectar of yellow elms, sucking fire-orange 
extract from burnished oaks, tinting my tongue with evergreen elixir. 
I guzzle a gallon of happiness. 
In one sweet swill 
I devour my morning blend. 

Loons in love stir the stillness as my dear friend wanders 
onto the porch searching for me and her short term memory. 
She hovers over my shoulder. I silently curse her brain cancer. 
She lowers her head, raises her voice, draws her robe tight and belts 
out an old Janis Joplin song from our youth.

“Oh Lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz…”
 Our voices blend, 
peal over the White Mountains, tumble down a lush meadow, 
quiver on a stream, bottom out in a valley and echo through the woods –
a timeless melody hitchhikes on her long-term memory. 

For a moment we are vibrant, young, 
climbing mountains, swimming seas, rocking babies, 
traipsing across tundra as we did forty years ago 
when we met as next door neighbors in Alaska. 


DUTA said...

Powerful poem depicting a sad triangle; nature's beauty,friend's memory loss, songs evoking happy memories from the past!

Sioux Roslawski said...

That Janis Joplin song is one of my favorites... and probably the only thing I would sing at a karoke bar, since I have a horrible voice.

What a wonderful poem, and what a gorgeous tree.

Val said...

That tree is beautiful! As is your poem, and most of all, your special memory of that long-ago snapshot in time.

janet smart said...

Lovely tree and poem.

Red Rose Alley said...

You have many wonderful memories with your best friend. You can tell you are close companions. The photo of you next to the vibrant tree is lovely, and it shows the beauty of Fall in your area. I'm so sorry your friend had this illness. I've lost many loved ones to this dreadful nightmare.

Have a peaceful week, Linda.


tracboy2 said...

BEAUTIFUL tree,poem & friendship.You have a way with words that make your reader feel as if they are right there along with you.

Pat Wahler said...

Love the poem, Linda!