i knew her mind

I knew her mind,
Like traps of song and daggers–
Cradled worth.
She saw the passing years as enemies;
as dark,
as fear.

I gave what brace I could,
To understand
That naught but time and distance
Cull the breadth of man to man

For time, but constrict to a movement–
And distance but the length of move,
grown old.
She smiled in eyes the violet of her gown,
And frowned to storm the ages
in their crown.

I knew her mind
And traveled every road
That brought to age the subtle gifts of home,

So in my own respite
I do not worry for loose ends:
For all becomes the night
Before the dawn can rise again …

And in my sorrow, often
I recall her graven wit —
How she would never suffer
Nor condone man to his script–

How swaths of wide decorum
Gave full range in sharpened barbs;
How thrift would tend the roses
To move jungles of a yard.

So much I never understood,
Cruel logic of her ways,
But her mind, I knew — as daughters should:
No worry haunts my day.


2 Replies to “i knew her mind”

  1. Wow. What an AWESOME tribute! I am guessing this is your Gran, and the rhythm and feel of this poem marks it as one of your best, in my opinion. It was so good I had to go back and read it more than twice! There is an overarching sense of age in general throughout the poem, but I love how you make it specific to HER. “How thrift would tend the roses /
    To move jungles of a yard.” <—-Beautiful! I love this one, E. Would give it 10 likes if I could!

  2. thank you, Corina — so much. yes this is one of the ‘applied myself’ ones …. and not sure what i touched for the depth, though i felt the need to make a real statement on strengths in origin. if i do serious work it will always be in a classic rhyme and meter, with little reference to any dated material. i think each one of those older rhyme patterns bears a color or shading of intent. and this particular one, used most often for a story-telling that concludes with an air-tight or common-knowledge justification.

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