Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Two poems

The Branch
©2005 Celeste Billhartz

Someday, the man will cut the branch
The tree will look better from the road ... I know this
I have been tempted to make that tree fit some symmetry
I think the man will cut the branch soon after he moves in ...
Before he knows better ...:)
He'll spend a morning raking and sweeping beneath the tree
Intent on bagging that debris ...
Then, of a sudden ... he will see
He has no branch to lean his rake or broom against!
We mustn't make a thing perfect
There's every reason to let it be ...
The oddsome branch on an old cherry tree.
This is not a poem about my mother and me.
It is a familiar scene that breaks so many mothers' hearts. CB

The Old Women
©2006 Celeste Billhartz

How will the old women tell us why?
Will they smile, take our hands in theirs?
Say the usual things -- about "the times"
About their daughters, their nearly-ruined lives, the talk?
The shame of ... us?
Will they shudder, remembering?
They will be polite, of course.
Still, I wonder how they will say it, tell us why.

I found my mother.
"They made me give you up," she said.
"I know, Carol, I know."
The word -- Mom -- hung in my throat.
It was the most truthful word
And I couldn't say it, yet.

Her mother, the old woman I was about to meet,
Forced Carol to surrender me.
There was no "they" ... really.
All those middle-class wives ... desperate ...
What would people say ... about them?

All those old women -- millions of them --
Changed their daughters' lives, forever --
And rarely, ever -- for the good they ment.

"Nice to meet you, Grace."
She took my hands in hers and smiled,
"Grandma ... call me Grandma."

No comments: