pictured words

a simple pairing of pictures and poetry

Tag: Mom and Dad

Home is where I watch the Buckeyes with Dad

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As August slips into the back side,
and daylight is squeezed
into fewer hours,
I miss the distant sound
of drum cadence,
bringing in a new season.
In just a couple weeks,
Dad and I would have had
our decades-long ritual
of gathering in front of the T.V.
and saying (as though it is a surprise),
“Can you believe it is already
the first game of the season?
Didn’t the season just end?”

It didn’t matter whose home we
were in,

until it did.

Those final years, he became too frail,
and it became harder,
and then impossible,
to get Mom out the door.
So we would haul food to their place,
and hope Dad could stay awake
and out of the bathroom
for most of the game.
We hoped he could enjoy it
a fraction of what he used to.

The lamp that was part of each home
Mom and Dad called theirs
now lights my front window
as I write poems
about football
and marching bands
and drum cadence
and Mom
and Dad.

Because poems
and their light
are all that remain.

 

© Marie Elena Good, 2020

 

DEAR MOM AND DAD,

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Dear Mom and Dad,

Having devoted grandparents made my childhood something special.  Holidays were spectacular, with wall-to-wall cousins and outstanding meals — Irish on one side; Italian on the other.  Summertime meant choosing a cousin to spend a few nights at Grandma and Grandpa’s.  I suppose you probably knew, but we were kind of given free reign, and ice cream and nonpareils rained freely.  Those were fun years of my life.  I miss the years, and I miss my grandparents.

I don’t miss them like my kids miss you.  We didn’t have the special closeness my kids had with you … the kind where they weren’t sure they could ever live without you.  The kind where they spent their lives fearing the inevitable.  The kind that took special grace from God to go on in the wake of losing you both within 35 days of each other.  The kind that begs, “Just one more day.  Just one more conversation.  Just one more hug.”  The kind that made their lives richer for the living, a bit shattered in the leaving, and grateful for every shared moment.

A love worth the loss.
This is who I want to be
To my granddaughters.

© Marie Elena Good, 2019

THE VALUE OF FAMILY AND THIRTY FIVE DAYS

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One year ago, today,
we unexpectedly secured
a one-bedroom apartment for Dad,
and moved him into it.
It was just down the hall from Mom and Dad’s place,
where Mom had passed in the wee hours prior.

A back-and-forth blur
of family
furniture
clothes
drums
wood carvings and wood-carving tools
kitchen supplies
medications
wheelchairs
walkers
jazz,
and love,

until one space was empty,
and the other, full
of sunlight and life
that dared each other
shine.

Food followed.
A feast, really,
provided by cousins.
All of us squeezed
‘round a long table
with Dad at one end,
and Mom’s brother and her identical twin
at the other,
between which
more conversation and laughter managed to flow
than tears.

Who could have known
a mere thirty five days later,
the one-bedroom’s sunlight would be called to shine
alone.

© Marie Elena Good, 2019

SAVING SOUNDS

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They’ve not been gone long.
Just a few month’s time.
Sometimes I hear her laugh.
His voice, singing,
“I don’t buy sugar  —
Just touch my cup.”
Her coffeemaker’s sizzle.
His, “Go Bucks.”
Her, “I love you.  —
You know that.”
His drums.
Her sigh.

I clutch these sounds —
Secure them to my heart,
And listen to its beat.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

A CORD OF THREE STRANDS

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They began, young.

Lovely and in love
Healthy and hopeful
Playful and promising
To have and to hold
From this day

Forward, fast
Furiously fading
As Alzheimer’s attempts
To dilute and damage
Life and love
Strongly seduced.

Still,
Promise prevailed.
“All my love, and love me always”
In illness and health,
Held by God’s hands
And the cord of three strands,
Stands

Against all
Ashes to ashes
Forever co-mingled
In the perpetual presence
Of the One who,
Singly, and synchronously,
Breathed life
And an always love.

 

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

“And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”  ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12

Forever my love to Mom and Dad, now eternally at rest, in the presence of the One. 

INTERMENT DAY

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All day, the sky shed tears, and I,
at times.
I prayed no more tears, graveside,
but they fell

and fell

on faulty umbrellas
and baying bagpipe
and wailing sax
and tone of Taps
and stars
and stripes
and dated stones
and downcast cheeks
and woeful thoughts
and hard-fought fear

while lavish love
flowed fierce and full,
affecting a fragrance
of
unreserved grace.

 

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

Patricia A. Fagnano
March 16, 1931 – February 9, 2018

James F. Fagnano
January 7, 1932 – March 15, 2018

Mom and Dad, laid to rest.
In the presence of God
and the hearts of all,
the hardest day of my life,
and a thing of beauty
at once.

September 8, 2018
On the anniversary of their wedding. 

GRIEF

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Grief is a peculiar beast,
prowling when
and where
and how we least expect –
often at inopportune moments
when there is no fitting release
and nothing to do but cram it down,
thinking it will recede
and let us be,
but no
it lingers about,
then slinks in
at the next inopportune moment ,
chafing,
never ending,
like a run-on thought
or a spinning yarn
with no end in sight
and no

… funny,
how relief,
though brief,
comes conversely
through
tears,

and laughter.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018