HAND ME DOWNS, Elizabeth Crawford

Hand Me Downs
by Elizabeth Crawford

helen-olive-gunville-age-16-1934

photograph (c) Elizabeth Crawford

A holder of hope, a whisperer of dreams.
Her blood in my veins, songs we sang together.
Words from a journal she tried to keep to please me.
Still lifes, landscapes carefully painted in vivid detail.

She prayed each night, counting beads
of the rosary always kept beneath her pillow,
each filigreed orb slipping between silky skin of bent fingers.
A holder of hope, a whisperer of dreams.

So many images, memories like fine-line cracks
in plastered and painted walls of my mind.
Each day, new ones seemingly forgotten,
her blood in my veins, songs we sang together.

Tiny feet crawling swiftly across awareness.
Sometimes causing me to flinch away
from sadness and grief at her passing.
Words from a journal she tried to keep to please me.

Once said I had healing in my hands, surprised
when I nodded that I knew, that others had said the same.
Her hand in mine giving gifts to new generations,
still lifes, landscapes carefully painted in vivid detail.

Elizabeth’s process notes:
I was one of four children, and the one who carried none of my Mother’s physical characteristics. Although our relationship was strained early on, she became a role model in many ways, teaching me that one is never too old to begin to act on a lifelong dream (she found a teacher and began painting in her mid-sixties, while I met my teacher and began writing poetry just before turning forty). I became one of her primary caregivers in her declining years and only then realized how much she had handed down to me about seeing the vivid details that daily surround each of us. The photograph is my Mother at age 16. She was so proud of the fact that in it, she “weighed only 98 pounds and wore a size 4 shoe.”

The poem started as a cascade poem, using lines borrowed from another poet as the first verse and repeat lines used at the end of others. Re-visioned, I wanted to keep the form, because memories often seem to follow that echoing sort of pattern.

Elizabeth Crawford views poetry as an educational and therapeutic tool. She hopes to continue writing until she can no longer hold a pen. She began her poetic journey in mid-life and only desires to catch up before running out of ink.

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4 thoughts on “HAND ME DOWNS, Elizabeth Crawford

  1. I have made a new blog for my poems.
    Completely written by me.
    Follow my blog and see my self written poems,i am sure you will like it 🙂
    I am sure you’ll like it too 🙂

    saumyapuri.wordpress.com

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