pictured words

a simple pairing of pictures and poetry

Tag: Respect

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

 

YESTERDAYS (Father’s Day 2020 Sonnet for my Dad)

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Just one more chance to hear your drum set swing,
And feel the pride well up inside my core.
And I believe I’d give most anything
To watch as you conduct a band once more.

To hear you call Mom Sweet Pea one more time,
And see the love for her in aging eyes
That cleaved to days of youth, well past their prime,
Embracing the enchantment love implies.

From time to time, I feel as though you’re near.
I sometimes hear your words play through my mind.
Oh how I’d love to linger for a year
While you are here, and death is left behind.

Though we may try to hold what fades away,
Our yesterdays were never meant to stay.

© Marie Elena Good, 2020

DEAR MOM,

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DEAR MOM,

I wonder if you smiled after tucking me in at night, as I yelled, “I love you and I like you,” until I heard you reach the bottom of the stairs.

When I was in high school, you and I would often walk Naples’ beach. I told you how much I enjoyed our beach walks.  You told me I would get a boyfriend, and would no longer choose to walk the beach with you.  I got that boyfriend, and spent a great deal of my waking hours with him.

I wonder if you smiled each time I asked you to walk the beach with me.

Even through my teen years, you made sure you were home when I got home from school.  You didn’t want me coming home to an empty house. You stopped whatever you were doing, and took time to talk.  Even then, I understood the blessing of that.

I wonder if you smiled whenever you remembered me telling you I appreciated coming home to you.

I believe early Alzheimer’s began to separate you from yourself.  I think you recognized that, and feared eventual separation from all of us.  Perhaps that’s why you began saying, “I love you.  You know that.”  You wanted to make sure your love for us was so deeply rooted that there was little risk of it getting lost somewhere in a possible future of unknowingness.  You know that.  That little phrase attached to I love you was part of who you were.  Yes, we knew that. You were kind, and good.  You loved well.

I wonder if you smiled somewhere inside when I whispered, “I love you and I like you,” in those final days when you were growing less responsive.

© Marie Elena Good, 2020

FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD

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It wasn’t a twister,
but a whirlwind of words
that whisked me away,
introduced my would-be Dorothy
to this would-be Scarecrow
who blows me away
with his way with words,
as very few can.
Our story began across a lake
and make no mistake,
he’s my partner in rhyme.
He believes he’s no longer
in his prime,
but I’ll tell you this (and you’d agree)
that his prolific poetry
has no specific begin and end time.
And moreover, he’ll turnover
every tune or turn of phrase
to raise the bar.
He’s the pace car.
And he will always be
the poetry man,
to me.

© Marie Elena Good, 2020

FINAL ACT OF FATHERHOOD (a sonnet filled with love for my dad)

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

As you declined in health, we traded roles.
You, once a leader, now deferred to me.
Our switched positions jolted and left holes.
An altered beat, but how it had to be.

Your mind became confused, and body, frail.
I know you mourned your slipping stance as dad.
But in the end, your core was what prevailed –
Your father-teacher heart was ironclad.

I wanted terribly to be with you
When your heart halted beat, and breathed its last.
I told you I’d be back in “just a few.”
That short time I was gone, was when you passed.

It wasn’t happenstance. I think in fact,
It was a father’s final loving act.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

In The Name of All That is Right

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Photo by Keith R. Good

This Land of the Free can’t agree on taking a knee.  But it’s not about the knee.  It’s about equality, and that’s the key to being free, from sea to shining sea.

See?

© Marie Elena Good 2017

#takeaknee

I Am An Aging, Living Being

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No longer vibrant
smooth
-skinned strength, framed
on the nightstand

No longer quick
-witted or
-stepped
fluid in mind
agile in stride

No longer resourceful
proficient
a step ahead
with a head in the game

At times still life,
I am life, still

I am aging

living

being.

 

© Marie Elena Good, 2017

UNITED

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I wish all had disembarked.
Teach United
the meaning of its name.

 

#seventeensyllablesfortwentyseventeen
#aprilpad

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME …

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Irish roses bud and bloom
 Side-by-side in mother’s womb.
Beautifully, they grew in grace;
Elegant as Irish lace.

Happy Birthday to Mom and Aunt Peg, with love and great respect.

SONNET FOR MY DAD

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My father earned a living teaching youth.
He shared with them the music of his core.
He showed them how to honor life and truth,
And gave his time to all who graced his door.

My father is a man to emulate –
A man who holds to ethical ideals.
And even now, though years have slowed his gait,
They haven’t marred the crux of what he feels.

My father’s love is deep; allegiance strong.
His charity continues to abound.
He taught me well to judge what’s right and wrong,
To gather stars, while keeping feet aground.

And so it is I pen this gift through tears –
I thank my God for granting us these years.

© Marie Elena Good, 2012