"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Canes

Canes hang off door knobs
and the backs of chairs.
They swing from towel rods and rockers
and stand in corners.

They are our new reality
and we have become comfortable
in their presence.

My father’s cane is big and heavy
with a smooth rounded handle
he could hook a giraffe with.
A man with a weapon is twice the man he is without.

My mother’s is as light as a baton,
as light as she once was on her feet.
Oh, how she twirled around the dance floor,
like a goldfinch on a feeder.

Now she’s twice the woman with it
than she would be without.
She taps it on the floor to emphasize a point
and hunts for lilies under the daffodils with the rubber tip.
She swats at the weeds around her hydrangea
like a barmaid at a drunk.

When I see it and not her, I wonder
where she’s gotten herself off to.
When I walk up the sidewalk
and see it lying in the flowerbed,
I wonder at what called her away,
and I try to remember what I was doing that was so important
it superseded my visit.

18 comments:

Talli Roland said...

I LOVE this poem, Yvonne! It's amazing how you've characterised two people using their canes.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Talli,
Thank you.

Jemi Fraser said...

Wow - totally awesome! I've got those images seered in my head :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Magnificent! Really, that was so visual and had all kinds of deeper meaning about who they are, who they were, how they get about in this new reality and how you fit in. I love it!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Jemi,
Thanks. I'm so glad you liked it.

Tricia,
Thank you, Tricia. I'm glad those little details came across as that was my intention.

Gabriela Abalo said...

While reading the poem I was able to visualize your dad, mom and their canes!! really nice

loveNlight
Gabi

Cat Woods said...

Yvonne, this was beautifully written. In the words of my daughter, "I love old people." They have so much to share, if we just walk their pace.

Thanks.

Wine and Words said...

Absolutely precious this...delicious in the visions presented. Thank you! I loved it.

foldingfields said...

whoa, man (I mean, mama). that last line is an emotional HOOK. and as Jemi said, "the images are seered in my head."

Yvonne Osborne said...

Gabi,
Thanks! It's funny how it took all of us (them included) some time to accept the fact that their canes are now necessary.

Cat,
Thank you. I love old people too and, yes....I guess that means my mom and dad. Funny how I don't really think of them as "old people" even though they're pushing ninety!

W&W,
Thank you so much. I love it that you, such an accomplished poet, loves this.

Hi Sarah,
Thank you. I wanted to close with that ever-present thought without getting overly emotional, so I'm glad you liked it.

She Writes said...

This is my favorite thing you have written. Wow! Just, wow! Haunting and real. Bravo!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Amy,
Really? Well....wow back at you! Thanks!!

Suzanne Casamento said...

Lovely. The imagery is great, whether it's hunting for lilies with the rubber tip or dancing like a goldfinch on a feeder. Beautiful.

Lola Sharp said...

Haunting imagery. This touched me. Well done.

Love,
Lola

Yvonne Osborne said...

Suzanne,
Thank you. The image of a goldfinch just wrote itself.

Lola,
Thanks so much for telling me what you think.

Louvregirl said...

Wonderful.
Thank you for this.
It left me smiling :)
lg

Yvonne Osborne said...

Louvregirl,
Thanks so much. Welcome to my blog!

kanishk said...

totally awesome! I've got those images seered in my head :
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