Biographical Poetry posted March 9, 2018

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Contest Entry: She was determined...

One Hundred Steps

by Mrs. KT

Write a poem using these words... Contest Winner 

In loving memory of my mother, Ann Rachel Kenel: (1923 - 2007)

From her chair in her spacious living room,
she had daily looked out upon her beloved yard,
patiently awaiting spring’s awakening.

 Her patience was waning quickly.
She was determined that her present condition
would not defeat her although her arthritic knees and hips
refused to freely bend at her will.

She could resign herself to no longer being as flexible and young as she once was,
but nothing was going to prevent her from walking
through her spring gardens and inhaling their beauty…

Even “They” could not stop her.

As winter begrudgingly gave way to spring, she observed
robins building their nest in the Fraser fir,
chickadees darting in and out of the tangled hedge of lilacs,
and her corner of the world exploding in a riot of color.

All the while, she waited, never once attempting to commandeer
her walker through the front door and outside to her oasis of comfort.

But she had been dreaming, planning, and gaining strength…

Today she would venture.
Today when no one was home
to tell her that she was still
too weak,
too frail,
too eccentric,
she would make her way
to the old fashioned lilac bushes and
gather a beloved bouquet of springtime fragrance.

For weeks she had gathered her supplies and kept them by her side:
A small wicker basket
Sharp scissors
A tin dipper
Her favorite vase
Two bottles of water
“The area around her chair is so cluttered.”
“Why does she need all of those things?”
“She snapped at me when I tried to tidy up.”
“I’ll clean up when she’s napping; she’ll never know.”
But she did know.

She knew exactly what "They" were thinking and saying.

So when “They” announced they needed to run a few errands,
she was ready.
“We won’t be gone long.”
“Just stay put.”
“Promise you won’t get into any trouble.”
“Be a dear, and take a nap…yes?”

No sooner were “They” out of sight,
she gathered her strength, and willing her legs to move, rose from her chair.

Securing her basket and its contents to her walker,
she made her way to the front door.

As she opened it, she stood for a moment,
inhaling the sweet air of life, possibilities, and renewal.
She steadied herself as she began her journey.
Down one step, onto the porch, then another step.

All that lay ahead were
a determined will,
a winding garden path, and
one hundred steps to her destination.

The lilacs were waiting for her arrival; she was sure of it.

She breathed in their heady perfume as she approached.

Steadying herself, she leaned on her walker, and
with her scissors, snipped seven beautiful lilac stems.

Gently, she placed them in her basket.
Before leaving, she hung the tin dipper in among
the lower branches. Smiling as she did so, she thought of how the chickadees and other
 feathered friends would enjoy their small birdbath once the next rain had filled it.
Ever so slowly, she retraced her steps.
Her treasures were wieldy and cumbersome, but she managed.

Perhaps not tomorrow, but the next day, she would
venture outside again.

“They” would  be returning soon.

She would deal with them later, but for now
she had lilacs to arrange in a beautiful vase,
filled with water, memories, and abiding hope…


Writing Prompt
Write a poem in any form or style, with any subject or emotion but must include the following words:

flexible - present - air - dipper - lilac - fir - door - spacious

Where do these words take you??

Write a poem using these words...
Contest Winner


This prompt brought back a rush of memories for me. My mother suffered from arthritis, Parkinson's disease, and eventually dementia, before passing away in 2007.
While still living at home, she did, indeed, go out and about in her beloved gardens - holding on to her walker - and somehow wielding a basket and scissors with her in case she found a snippet of "this or that" to bring inside.
Thus, this "narrative poem" or "story poem" recounts one of those ventures into a world she still had hope to enjoy...
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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