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George M Jackson

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Elsa
by George M Jackson

Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Not rated by the Author.
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           >> View all 112

......stupid editor......

The woman sat idle on her old porch swing


And drank tea from a ceramic mug Elsa had


Made for her twenty years before, the


Warmth of the brew taking some of the bite


From a cold morning breeze, though she knew


It would warm up nicely today, rain or not.


 


Aye, it would rain by the time noon came ‘round


Didn’t need no fancy Doppler or whatever they


Was usin’ nowadays to figure that one out, she


Could smell its coming in the air and the sky had


That peculiar hazy look about it, blurry against


Tree branch silhouettes rising from her back yard.


 


Days like this, Elsa held sway in her thoughts like


Some pendulum in a room of light and shadow, and


The old woman gripped her mug a little tighter, Elsa’s


Mug, totally unaware of the pain in her gnarled fingers as


She did so, yellowed eyes suddenly far away, looking inward


Now as that pendulum swung a hypnotic dance of memory.


 


And…


 


(it had been cold that morning, too, with the promise


of rain and Elsa came runnin’ up to Gramma as her


daddy pulled away, and my! but that child was a bundle


of energy sure enough, long red hair flyin’, all smiles an’


shouts, something wrapped in newspaper held out in front


of her, made it for you Gramma! All by myself at school..)


 


But…


 


Oh it was painful to remember such things, Elsa grabbing


Her hand, leading her ‘round back to this very swing, twenty


Years ago to the day an’ no wonder it was plaguing her so, No sense denyin’ it neither, the old woman knew well enough


When Elsa had died, why else had she picked this mug from


Which to drink her morning tea, rinsing off a years worth of dust?


 


Why else sitting here, where Elsa had presented her the mug


With the kind of innocent aplomb that only an eight-year-old


Could perform, before running to a tree that no longer stood?


And how could anybody have known one of them climbin’


Boards had worked itself loose so soon after nailing them in…


That such a short little fall would become a lifetime of guilt?


 


The old woman sets her mug, Elsa’s mug, on a small table


Close by the swing, the tea is cold now so cold and she


Doesn’t like where this thought takes her as she glances


At the weathered tombstone where a tree once stood, some


Twenty years ago, best just to go inside and make sure no


Windows have been left open, though she knows otherwise.


 


Rain comin’, sure enough, you could smell it in the air.


 


END


 


“Elsa”


 

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Reviewed by Michelle Mills 8/9/2006
Oh George, I could picture this woman rocking on her old fashioned wood framed porch swing, and smell the rain as it approached...even in the sunshine, clutching a mug that was no doubt made by Indiana Glass in Dunkirk. (smiles) This is a timeless photograph of home for me, who is very homesick girl this time of the year. Thank you for this gift. Michelle
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 4/9/2005
Sad tale well told poetically, George. Love and peace. Regis
Reviewed by m j hollingshead 4/7/2005
powerful write
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 4/7/2005
A truly emotional and powerful story poem, George. Very Well Done.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 4/7/2005
I think i can relate to this....yip May 24, 1985 my Michele died and the memory is still so vivid in my mind....I even avoiding the meals she loved...too sad to bring back her very last words!

I made toast with asparagus and cheese...and I said to her "Michele eat your food" and she replied "but mommy this is not food it's bread"

It was so funny I was screaming it out in laughter...and just the very next day she died...I never made that "food" that was only bread to her.

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Kate Burnside 4/7/2005
Harrowing and so superbly evocative. You have captured the telling details of these two people splendidly and told their tender bittersweet story with such empathetic melancholy. I feel you could develop this further - your powers of evocation are so great, George, as well as your powers of observation and story-telling. I can almost smell that rain coming myself - and I never even fully realised before that I ever could... but you have given me, not exactly the ability to do so, but the REALISATION that I can. Thank you - your writing always does more than speak: it empowers and enables. Bless you, Kate xx
Reviewed by E T Waldron 4/6/2005
Splendid poem!

eileen
Reviewed by jude forese 4/6/2005
great poem story! the images and emotions flow adeptly into my mind ...
Reviewed by Dawn Richerson 4/6/2005
George, you've got such a gift for story and these are the poems of yours that paint entire scenes inside my mind. Strikingly beautiful. Dawn
Reviewed by Daniel McTaggart 4/6/2005
George, you've touched upon a new level of beautiful sadness in my heart. Simply wonderful.
Reviewed by George Carroll 4/6/2005
Captivating write
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 4/6/2005
you tell a darn good story in your poem, george; most excellent! bravo!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in tx., karen lynn. :D
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