Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ancient Mother.....

April 5, 2012: Poem-A-Day Challenge, National Poetry Month

For today’s prompt, write a poem about something before your time. Maybe it’s a certain time in history. Or a type of music. Or a story that was shared by friends or family–before your time.

Here is a picture of Mary Sandiford, born in 1848, 99 years before I was born. She is my great-grandmother, and she has a look about her that makes me wish I had known her...

Mother of the Folk

You look, in this picture,
Proud, focused, very self-aware;
This reminds me
Of my father,
Your youngest grandson...

He was three years old
And a month, to the day
When you died.
He didn't know you.
He was like you, though...

He had that same air
Of self-possession.
You look like
The pictures I have seen
Of other Duffys--

No, you weren't "Duffy"
But you seem to have brought
One Duffy-ness
To all the family
Following you...

It's that look, the one
That says, without a word,
"I am who I am."
Of all the traits
Of all my family

That is the one feature
I believe most defines us.
Loving people, yes.
But strong, Irish,
Determined to stand.

I look at your picture
And wonder what formed you?
What made you
So strong, focused,
A matriarch?

I've had my own challenges
And when I see your face,
I believe, somehow,
Your bloodline
Gave me strength.

I see myself in you,
And hope to live up, always
To your legacy.
To your strong gaze.
I wish I'd known you.

© Aisling the Bard, 2012. All Rights Reserved

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