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Michelle M Mead

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Member Since: Jun, 2007

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Freedom's Light: Quotations from History's Champions of Free
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White Umbrellas
by Michelle M Mead
Rated "G" by the Author.
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           >> View all 216

This is based on a Connie Winters painting of the same name, but as I couldn't find the painting it is based on, I have used one in a similiar style (minus the white umbrellas, lol) just to get the feel of the original.



Nail-biting before the kitchen window at the sound of their car engines

opening a drawer to find among the layers of junk mail, paper clips

and lost parts of old plastic toys, the smile wife wears as if cut out

from thick card stock, ready to withstand even the longest of parties


This cat's smile, wide and veneered teeth, bared in preparation

to match the flapping white table umbrellas languishing overhead

and the hyacinth sky its short cloud wisp breaths, exhaling spring

to greet the soliders of this foreign war wife calls a garden fete


Husband's boarish bellowing laced with a chuckle makes wife cringe

talking as if nothing happened, when it has-everything has-

long pale fingers of one shaking hand run across wife's aching brow

while the other hand presses a fork into the palm, piercing


Guests watch husband's old mask lift to reveal his fractured ego

wife watches his hand touch upon the younger woman's waist

husband's unaware of the mockery love's flowers make of his games

while wife feigns that she is the bringer of festivities and bottled joy


What exactly happens beneath white umbrellas- the gardens never tell

and the irrationality of summer carries away the rumors once cemented

when the players pass GO and their pieces are put back in the box

leaving their concentrated and hurtful moves to gather so much dust







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Reviewed by Lois Christensen
Beautifully written, a joy to read it, and love the photo too.
Reviewed by JMS Bell
Reviewed by Sheri Uy
Dear Michelle, what a fine and sophisticated piece of poetry you've written here. Great imagery and clear and concise description of how the mind works under that 'white umbrella' will not fail to capture the interest of the reader. Enjoyed. Happy Valentine's day to you.

Reviewed by Edwin Hurdle
Great write piece.Take care
Reviewed by J'nia Fowler
Reminds me a great deal of the life I experienced when in my 20's. Would never ever go back to that. Your words created a stronger picture than the painting. So very well constructed Michelle. Very fine, in deed. Hugs
Reviewed by Patrick Granfors
A fantastic capture of a smoldering relationship flickering out to cold ash but stuck in the circle of stones. Patrick
Reviewed by Kimmy Van Kooten
This is so so dramatic, I was carried away on the Summer breeze, to find refuge from the shaded, under "White Umbrellas". . . only to find, solace in knowing, "We'll have this..." Sux, egh? :)

How the hec are ya, girl!
I SO SO ENJOY reading your works!
Love and Peace~
Reviewed by Ronald Hull
A garden party of drama, large and small, carried out on the whim of a summer's day.

Reviewed by Rose Rideout
How many even in todays world put on a false face to cover the hurt and pain they live through. Great write Michelle.

Newfie Hugs, Rose
Reviewed by Leslie Hoffman
Michelle, you have taken me back in time to the years of being a corporate wife. Your skill succeeded in "showing...not telling." And now, I know why...
Reviewed by Geoff M. Pope (Reader)
Haunting nuances...and precisely what John Flanagan wrote below...
My favorited lines after a first reading:

the smile wife wears as if cut out
from thick card stock, ready to withstand even the longest of parties
Guests watch husband's old mask lift to reveal his fractured ego

Glad you enjoyed "Dad in My Face," Michelle, and I look forward to reading more of your poetry.

Reviewed by Richard Arrington
A very good write!
Reviewed by Annabel Sheila
You have such an amazing talent for capturing the story behind paintings, Michelle....loved it!

Reviewed by Jon Willey
the white umbrellas served as a sanctuary for the tryst a devious husband's mind imagined -- Michelle, you set the mood and carefully lay the description of characters with great precision -- a fine piece of poetry -- peace and love to you my friend -- JM
Reviewed by John Flanagan
You set this superbly, Michelle, and then you delve and find the details that are telling and so ironic in the context of a relaxed order, an old visual innocence.
Oh yes!

Reviewed by Sage Sweetwater
Putting on false faces, the characters here pretending they love 'parachuting', white umbrella socializing from the ego's aboveness, and the interactive rip cord pulls one over and they land on Park Place and Boardwalk at the expense of what could be the next move, infidelity, but of course, white umbrellas make it appear as crisp, ironed white sheets with the smell of Downy fabric softener to cover up the events of the garden party - Ricky Nelson's song of the 70s...they were all there, and some died young...if flowers could talk and if monopoly could shade White Umbrella rumors...only if, well.

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