A Short`While

Fran Skiles  franskiles.com

Fran Skiles       franskiles.com

Thunder showers
leave pools on hard ground
They remain for a short`while
before soaking into the soil
Then they’re gone

In the short`while
the puddles hold memories
remembrances of a child`hood
summers in the mountains
years of innocence

In the long`while
the puddles hold memories
remembrances of a child’s blood
pools on the floor of an ER
hours of presence

We were the child
stripped down to the waist
standing joyful in the downpour
knowing in a new moment
sunshine’s return

She was the child
covered over with a sheet
lying broken awaiting a surgery
from which we knew she
would not return

Thunder showers
leave pools on hard ground
They remain for a short`while
before soaking into the soil
Then they’re gone

“Forever after, you will recognize those places
– previously invisible, indiscernible –
where memory pools accumulate.” ~ Joyce Carol Oates


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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6 Responses to A Short`While

  1. Well, Peter, this took a turn I wasn’t expecting. People tend to assume that the authors of poems are the speakers in poems. They also tend to assume that poems are based on reality. Sometimes those assumptions are accurate; sometimes not. If they both hold true in the case of this poem, I am sorry for your loss, and the trauma you experienced somewhere along the line. As we discussed yesterday, if this is your way of letting the past grow up and move on, I applaud you, and I hope that it brings a new level of peace.

    Whether or not your words are based on personal experience, they are lovely, evocative, and moving. Just a little while ago, I was gazing at the pollen collected in the dried-up puddle outside the garage—the one that gets quite large when it rains—and thinking about all the photos I’ve taken out there: capturing images of my kids splashing and stomping and fishing in the puddle, of tiny toads hanging out in the puddle, of the water overwhelming the puddle so much it could do nothing to keep it out of the garage.

    The rhythm and repetition of your lines are soothing, like the soft washes of water that expand the outline of a puddle, little by little. God bless you and your pen, sir.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Cheryl, for your thoughtful comments. Yes, both memories I speak of are my own, though the latter was not a child of my own but the child of parents in the ER with whom I stood upon the holy ground as a pastoral`care representative of the hospital. I celebrate every child who survives; I grieve every child who dies, as if they were my own . . .

      Liked by 2 people

  2. brings tears to the eye


  3. and life moves on…sometimes without us


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