Poem 18

First journey, toward the light and loved ones

First breath of life, a cry

First smile, crooked and unfocused

First steps, unsteady and moving into the world

First words, joyful and unintelligible

First lesson, greedily absorbed, ready for more

First test, study hard, hoping to pass

First drive, hurry, hurry, down the street

First love, hearts pounding, passionate

 

Final love, years in the making, compassionate

Final drive, life passing by

Final test, all of life’s experiences are the answers

Final lesson, taught with love, remembered always

Final words, measured and whispered

Final steps, unsteady and feeble

Final smile, weak yet treasured

Final breath, ragged and drawn

Final journey, toward the light and loved ones

 

Eve Remillard

8/14/2016

Poem 17

“I always believed that I would recognise her when I saw her again” *

Would I know her if I saw her walk past me

in her light blue sweater and her feathered hair?

She would look past me, seeing nothing more than an older woman.

But she might be wearing the navy sweater and the jeans and clogs,

laughing with her small circle of friends,

the ever-present book tucked under her arm

to escape the reality of her life.

Would I recognize her if I saw her walk past me,

looking down at the ground if she were alone?

Would I stop her today and tell her to look up

and see where she is going, to smile at strangers,

to share her smile or a kind word with them?

Would I recognize my younger self if I passed her on the street today?

“I always believed that I would recognise her when I saw her again” *

 

*From Abduction, by Gillian Jackson

 

Eve Remillard

8/14/2016

 

Poem 16

Thick night air

humidity hanging low,

creating cones of moisture

below the street lights.

Crickets charm their mates lazily,

thunder rumbles in the distance,

and lightning jumps from cloud to cloud,

like children jumping on a bed.

The world sleeps around me

as I listen to and observe

the end of summer.

 

Eve Remillard

8/14/2016

Poem 15

The heart

beats

in the darkness

of the womb

as a secret

 

We are born

with the heart

protected by

the cage

formed of our ribs

 

Each moment

our heart beats

inconspicuously

gathering love and joy

tears and pain

 

The heart holds

the shrouded complexities

of our lifetime

enigmatic and hidden

even from ourselves

 

From the first beat

in the darkness of the womb

to the final beat

toward the light at the end

The heart is the essence of our mystery

 

Eve Remillard

8/13/2016

Poem 14

Gentle breeze whispers

Smell of fresh-cut grass lingers

Mid-summer’s night eve

 

Eve Remillard

8/13/2016

Poem 13

Speechless,

unable to create words

that normally flow freely

from my heart,

my soul,

my mind.

I can not bring them forth

to do my work justice

and frustration sets in.

Writer’s block

like a Jersey barrier.

 

Eve Remillard

8/13/2016

Poem 12

You have been here

for 81 years,

your smile always

shining and lighting the way

for those of us who have had the

joy of loving you.

Suddenly, we learn

there has been a hole in your heart

all this time.

One might think that would render

your heart imperfect.

But I have always found

your heart

to be full of love,

faith, kindness,

joy, and resiliance.

All of that light was

pouring out of that

hole in your heart

and received by those of us

blessed to be loved by you.

 

Eve Remillard

8/13/2016

 

Poem 11

God spoke,

but I did not hear Him,

not then.

Instead, I held you,

propped in my arms

while you slept deeply,

slipping away.

I watched the grey,

heavy sky loom over

the ocean.

My heart felt heavier

than the snow-laden clouds

as my memories

filled me…

your childhood laugh,

nighttime prayers,

sledding down the back hill,

splashing in the ocean,

playing school in the kitchen

(you, the student, I, the teacher).

I held you

and prayed our

childhood prayers

for you,

sang songs,

whispered now-forgotten words

into your ear,

rocking you gently,

getting ready to

give you back

to God.

Only after you left

did I understand

the gift I had been given:

my moment of Grace.

 

Eve Remillard

10/13/2016

Poem 10

My father’s last day

was nothing

like all the days

that came before it.

The ones where

he held my hand,

scolded me,

patiently helped me

through my math homework,

disappeared into the cellar

to whistle while he

built a shelf and

escaped from his life

or had a story to tell.

My father’s last day

was nothing

like all the bad dreams

I had had

as a child,

in which he died suddenly,

or once went willingly

and I could not stop him.

My father’s last day

was one of

confusion…

for him,

for me.

Where were his thoughts

as he lay dying?

Did he see my face as

my own or his mother’s?

Was he remembering

his childhood friends and their pranks?

My thoughts

were remembering

memories I didn’t

know or

remember

I had…

the way he whistled

when he walked,

his laugh,

how once he blew breath at me

in the cold winter air before work

as I watched him leave the house.

My father’s last day

was nothing

like all the days

that came before it.

 

Eve Remillard

8/13/2013

Poem 9

Juicy peaches, sweet

fresh, sitting in flowered bowl

ripening, waiting

 

The image and smell

of peaches

take me back to my seventh year

to a kitchen that was shady and cool

in the heat of a summer afternoon,

to an old home

lived in and cared for by women

who still fed the ancient stove wood

to turn out home-cooked meals.

I taste the sweet juice of a peach

as it runs down my chin

almost a half-century later

and I hear my great aunt’s laugh,

long since silenced,

as she hands me a napkin

to catch the runoff.

And I am back in her kitchen,

shady and cool

in the heat of a summer afternoon.

 

Eve Remillard

8/13/2016

 

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