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Poem: "Sonset" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Sonset"

This poem came out of the August 16, 2011 perk fishbowl.  It was prompted by minor_architect, jenny_evergreen, and meeksp.  It's posted as the second freebie, courtesy of new donor kitrona.  This is a Veterans Day poem, by the way, and the flowers mentioned are all symbolic of remembrance.  It falls fairly near the beginning of the Monster House series.


The rocking chair in the living room
sat empty and still.
Yellow ribbons fluttered in the November wind,
tied around the the oak trees
bracketing the walkway to our house.

The little old lady ghost
stood on the front porch,
barely visible in the tawny light.
With her stood another ghost, a tall young man
with the same heart-shaped face as hers,
his severed right arm tucked under his left,
uniform so splattered with blood and mud
that it could scarcely be identified.

"Who is that?"
my girl whispered.

"Her son," I explained.
"She always invites him to stay with her,
and he always declines."
As I watched, the young man shook his head
and strode toward the street.
His mother's shoulders slumped
as she sat down on the steps.

"We should go, if we're going,"
said my girl.  "The cemetery closes at sunset."

So we went, the two of us,
and the little old lady ghost riding along silently.
The cemetery wasn't so busy this late in the day.
My girl laid the first bouquet on her grandfather's grave,
and I laid the second on my cousin's.

Then we walked to the far corner
where stood the dimpled slab of white marble,
name and dates long since worn away,
that had become our local "tomb of the unknown soldier."
The grass around it already shimmered with frost
and approaching it felt like leaning into a winter wind,
air oppressive as a crowd.

"Excuse us," I said.  "Coming through, please."
The air shifted, lightening faintly
as the unseen, unfamiliar ghosts stepped aside.
I laid the final bouquet at the foot of the smooth headstone:
red poppies, white roses, and blue forget-me-nots.
"We'll wait for you in the car,"
I said to the little old lady ghost.

So we sat in the car, my girl and I,
watching the last red light seep toward the horizon,
shadows lengthening toward us.
I held her hand in mine,
so warm and alive,
so very precious.

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23 comments or Leave a comment
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: August 19th, 2011 06:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
*cries* yes.


I try to go say thank you every year.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 19th, 2011 10:10 pm (UTC) (Link)


I'm glad this poem worked for you.
bkwrrm_tx From: bkwrrm_tx Date: August 19th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Stop it. Stop it right now.

For 40-some years, I've known that I don't like poetry and you're making me *like* it.

Dang it.

Keep up the good work. :-)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 20th, 2011 06:37 am (UTC) (Link)


Most contemporary poetry is crap. It's one of the rare cases where I prefer the classics, and that shows in my writing. I'm glad you find it worth your while.
marina_bonomi From: marina_bonomi Date: August 19th, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lovely and moving,thank you.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 19th, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

You're welcome!

I'm glad you like it.
From: minor_architect Date: August 19th, 2011 07:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hurrah! Glad to see this one posted; I really liked it when I read the backchannel copy you sent me. :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 19th, 2011 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

*bow, flourish*

Happy to be of service.
kelkyag From: kelkyag Date: August 19th, 2011 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
the_vulture From: the_vulture Date: August 19th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is a very beautiful piece.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 20th, 2011 06:37 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm happy to hear that.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: August 19th, 2011 10:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
kitrona From: kitrona Date: August 19th, 2011 11:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
That gave me chills in the best way.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 20th, 2011 06:38 am (UTC) (Link)


That's good to know.
zianuray From: zianuray Date: August 20th, 2011 12:11 am (UTC) (Link)
OK, I teared up on this one.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 20th, 2011 12:19 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I appreciate the feedback.
ravan From: ravan Date: August 20th, 2011 02:16 am (UTC) (Link)
No fair making me cry at work.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 20th, 2011 06:45 am (UTC) (Link)


Sorry about that, though I'm glad the poem worked for you.
eseme From: eseme Date: August 22nd, 2011 01:11 am (UTC) (Link)
That is so very moving. I love that they brought he with them, and left flowers.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 22nd, 2011 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm happy to hear that. It's nice to know what bits are working for people.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: February 15th, 2012 06:05 am (UTC) (Link)
The title is a nice play on words.
I like the visuals that come with this one. Solumn but not sad.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 15th, 2012 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm glad you liked this one. Poems in this series are often light, but some of them are heavier.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: February 16th, 2012 04:53 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

It works. I think it gives some depth to the series.
23 comments or Leave a comment