The Mourn

a poem about the emotional trauma of hysterectomy

grayscale photo of woman right hand on glass

https://unsplash.com/photos/nwWUBsW6ud4



in time, eggs drop
as they may
a crimson furnace burns
waits for them
then rejects even
the idea of babies

babies that refuse to be bound
and tear their way out
leaving you
to your stitches

these eggs, they stay now…
where are they to go?
a furnace burnt out
removed scoop by scoop
fleshy tumors in a pan

I am not ashamed that
I screamed at God.

who would now mourn
these tiny keepers of
life? I must say I,
and I alone.

no more fat and bald
purple-plump and wet
wan cries erupting
gurgle and shriek
announce,
I am alive
I am alive

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A difficult Funeral, Beautifully Expressed by Imagery-Rich Poetry

We’ve all had to attend a funeral. It is a difficult thing to do, especially when the person we love has died suddenly or at a young age or both. When I found out that my Aunt Donnise was ill and in the hospital, I went to see her. My Uncle was understandably distraught. She died a day or two later and I am told she was reaching out her hand into the air and speaking of Jesus.

During the time tWoman in Black Long-sleeved Cardiganhat this was happening in my life, a song was very popular and getting a lot of airtime on mainstream radio. This song, Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance, gave me great comfort in an odd way. The poem I wrote of attending my Aunt’s funeral was greatly influenced by this song, and also by another song by my FAVORITE band of ALL TIME, Rain King by the Counting Crows. You will see in the poem a line in quotes from the My Chemical Romance song and a reference to black-winged birds from the Counting Crows song. I hope you will check out these two brilliantly written songs, and I hope you will read the following poem that I wrote about my Aunt Donnise’s funeral.

In Memoriamraven-988218_960_720

 

Giant pillars stood there
rooted in their weaknesses,
wearing their faces of sin.
Tears like ashes
spread across their cheeks.
Smiles, no one wanted
to smile.

Pillars wrapped in cloaks
of brick and color and voice.
Their stained-glass faces
depict gifts I still
don’t deserve.

(“Paint it black and take it back.”)

I walked in,
crows on my shoulders
feathers in my skin
dust pouring out of my eyes
and watched them speak of you.

I wish I had been there
to see you reaching out
wooden fingers
An empty casket arm
trying to bridge the space
Between your brokenness
and His glory.

I am glad He took your hand.

Your dust swept away…
may black-winged birds be light
and quick with your soul!

He’s been waiting for you.

If you enjoyed this original poem by Christina Ward, please leave a like and/or comment and check out these that you may enjoy:

Desperately Seeking Oblivion

Holiness ~ a poem about Grace

Gone ~ A poem

If you have written any poetry in memory of someone you love, you are welcome to add a link to a comment!! God bless, and hug your loved ones. Our time with them is short.

~Christina

Doe Season in Mamma’s Kitchen ~ a poem about my childhood

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Doe Season in Mamma’s Kitchen

 

Every week or so Daddy brings home a stiff-legged,
russet-colored doe and hangs her by her feet on my swing set.
Mamma blinks her eyes away and silently wipes
down the aged green countertops
with a dilapidated kitchen sponge.

He is careful with the knife in the afternoon sun,
b
lood mixing with sweat,
dripping from his elbows.
The dirt below is painted a muddy sienna
that stays for days.

We are careful where we step,
remembering the blood that had
drained from her nose.

Daddy works quickly.
I turn my eyes from the tongue, hanging there
f
at, limp, pink.
Mamma defrosts the freezer with hot water
that runs across the floor.
We mop it up quickly,
slip out of Daddy’s way as he carries each
veiny lump to the counter.

He washes them carefully.
They drop and slap loudly in the sink.
He wraps them, marks them,
arranges them in piles on the table.

Mamma prepares the flour and the skillet.

 

Christina Ward, 2019

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My childhood was a humble, but blessed one. I grew up in a family of 7: my parents, my 4 siblings and I, in a 2 bedroom, one bath “mill house.” My father was a deer hunter, as are most of the Uncles in my family. I remember gathering around them to hear their “deer stories” which were basically long, drawn-out tales of their hunting adventures. You will never meet a finer bunch of hard-working, nature-loving, down-to-earth men as these.

My final year of college I wrapped up a minor in English with a “concentration in writing” as there was no writing minor available to me, by taking a class in environmental writing. This class was designed for me. I was the only student. I began the words that would eventually become this poem while in that class. I wanted to pay tribute to the legacy of deer hunting and the genuine, deep love for the environment in my family.

A word about deer hunting and the environment: Due to habitat loss and fragmentation, would-be predators for deer (other species populations) have been forced into smaller areas as they retreat from areas they once roamed and hunted freely. Ecologically speaking, the numbers of prey species outnumber their respective predators. When the predators are removed, the populations of the species they would normally prey upon can reach unsustainable levels which could lead to too much competition for food and subsequently starvation, among a host of other issues. The US Fish & Widlife service and state Fish and Wildlife Services are crucial in monitoring population trends and setting hunting parameters which are then used to monitor key populations. The fees collected from hunters to maintain their hunting licenses also contribute to environmental conservation projects.

For more information:

US Fish and Wildlife: Hunting

Article on Hunting and Habitat Conservation

***Trophy hunting of big game  and endangered or threatened species, however, is another matter. I will offer NO argument in favor of that travesty.

Thank you so much for reading my poem. I understand this is a subject matter that can be difficult. I grew up very conflicted with my LOVE for deer (as equal a time my father spent hunting, we spent loaded up in the car driving at a snail’s pace through local state parks to look for, count and watch the deer) and my desire to understand why people would want to hunt them. I understood my father hunted and fed our family but as a child, it was still difficult to accept. I am grateful now to have a better understanding. Again, thank you for reading “Doe Season in Mamma’s Kitchen.”

Please see some of my other poetry on environmental issues, nature, and wildlife. Together we all play a very important role!

Hoppy-Toads in the Summer ~ a poem

Green Lacewing ~ a poem about these beneficial garden insects

Cornucopian Dream ~ a poem for my fellow Earth lovers

Holiness ~ a poem about Grace

Holiness

Eternal womb of growth
Prepare me for eternal birth.
Fortify me with God’s word.
Let my humble prayer be heard.

Here I am!

A broken soul that Jesus bought,
Heal my wounds; bend my mind to righteous thought.
I lift my arms to You, let praise begin!
I lift my lips, let song begin!

Can you hear me?

Let love embrace me.
Let grace replace me.
Lift me out of this darkness I have been in,
Let only your glory reside within.

I need you.

Prepare me Father, nurture my soul
That I may soon be whole,
That I may find endless rest,
And dwell forever in your holiness.

 

 Christina Ward

Thank you for reading Holiness. For more of my poetry follow this blog. I look forward to your comments, likes, and feedback on this, and my other poems. God bless!

Gone ~ A poem

Gone

 

Civilization swings
one extreme to the other.
You try in vain to understand it all.

A silenced moon hangs low, red,
angry,
and you are on the other side
walking a tightrope of a dream.

Hasn’t anyone told you
that you are gone?

You know I care about you,
you said.

That night I dreamt of sunflowers,
Schweinitz’s, the kind
you don’t see much anymore.

Fingertips pulling at my hair from behind
remind me that
Somewhere beyond my quiet porch,
bent around corners I no longer see,
the rain is whispering your name.

Hasn’t anyone told you
that I am sitting here?

I smile,
because sunflowers are beautiful,
even if I can’t see them.

 

Christina Ward
8/22/06

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Author’s Note: Schweinitz’s Sunflower is endemic to my region of the world. This precious flower species (pictured above) is a member of the Asteraecae family and has been on the federal endangered species list since 1991. (Gale 2000)

 

“Distribution

Schweinitz’s sunflower is endemic to the piedmont of the Carolinas, where it is currently known from 10 populations in North Carolina and six in South Carolina. The North Carolina populations are located in Union, Stanly, Cabarrus, Mecklenberg, and Rowan Counties. The species has been extirpated from Stokes and Montgomery Counties in North Carolina. All the extant and historic sites for the species in South Carolina are in York County. Thirty-eight percent of the historically extant populations have been destroyed. Most of the remaining populations are small, with four of them containing less than 40 individuals each.” (Siler, R.)

 

REFERENCES:

The Gale Group Inc. (2000). Schweinitz’s Sunflower. Beacham’s Guide to the Endangered Species of North America. Retrieved from https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/science-magazines/schweinitzs-sunflower

Siler, Robert. Schweinitz’s Sunflower – Helianthus schweinitzii . Retrieved from http://www.scwf.org/schweinitzs-sunflower

 

 

Dear Mr. Valentine

A hastily written but mightily felt wish of the heart…

 

Dear Mr. Valentine,

 

You sleep next to me like a happy rock.
As night rolls over into tomorrow,
I sit staring at our future.
Two creaky rocking chairs are there
Gnawing at the porch as we rest our aching backs
And laugh until breathing hurts our ribs.
Waterfalls and grassy balds and eagles
We’ve shared will occupy our minds
As we, together, will forget to say
The things we forgot that we meant to say
And laugh, still more.
This tea is so good, you’ll say.
I made it for you, I’ll say.
We are great old people aren’t we, Babe?
We’ll agree.
Just like we’ve always said we would be.
Dear Mr. Valentine,
as you lay there sleeping
As the night turns over to February 14,
I just want you to know I don’t need any flowers.
I remember all the ones we have seen.
I don’t need a ring or shiny things.
I remember the suns and the moons we’ve seen.
I don’t need you to say a bunch of romantical things.
I see them in the way that you still look at me.
Just promise me that
We will make great old people someday.

 

Christina Ward
2/14/19

 

 

Because sometimes you just decide it’s Valentine’s Day, and there are things to say. To the “happy rock” sleeping next to me, Happy Valentine’s Day.

Thank you for reading…Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

When Good Intentions Wind Up in the Ort Jar

Happy Monday to you all!!

This article is based on a project I had begun for my sister: to stitch a lovely picture of her lovely children…now you may not be a stitcher, but there is a life lesson here you may not want to miss…

Before we begin, take a look at the “lovely picture to the right there…yes. That one. The one that appropriately says YUK underneath it. Not so lovely right?

When a project goes DISASTROUSLY wrong…

Image
YUK!!!

Now, does that even look CLOSE to skin color? It’s a weird mesh of terra cottas, pinks, and greenish browns….NONE of which look like my beautiful nephew Charlie. I made the pattern with Pic2Pat and wasn’t feeling terribly confident in the colors. I just had this feeling the colors were going to be all wrong. Well, they were WAY wrong. Thank goodness I started stitching one of the faces first and was able to make the decision to trash it NOW and not after stitching a page or two of the pattern. So, I frogged it. About 600 stitches I nipped, pulled, tugged, ripped, and brushed out into little balls of ort garbage and tossed into the ort jar. Disastrous.


Frogging: a term used by stitcher for the action of removing mistaken stitches. We call it being visited by the “frog” and we have “to rip it rip it” taking stitches out…aka “ribbit ribbit” Get it?


Handling Frustration with a Measure of Dignity

I’m bummed. I’m frustrated. I worked with sharp little scissors and my frogging needle and very nearly decided to throw the fabric across the room. How often is it that life has different plans than we do and despite our best intentions, we end up filling our ort jar with those ugly little fuzzy balls instead of snippets of pretty colors from a successful project?


What is an ORT JAR you ask? This is also a stitchers term for the jar we toss the end snippits of floss (the embroidery thread we stitch with) that we cut off. The spare, ending pieces (called orts) are often collected into an Ort jar and later used for a craft project, such as stuffing them into those clear glass Christmas ornaments.


Life often laughs in the face of our intentions. So, we can take our sharp little scissors and out of a blast of frustration cut the whole piece of fabric in half and set it ablaze in the fireplace, or we can nit pick at it until we’ve removed the wrongness, the sour parts, the problem details and hopefully, hopefully at the very least save the fabric. After all, you can brush away the dust and start afresh right? Tonight, I chose to save the fabric. With that. I am pleased.

Not happy about calling off this project, but confident it was the right decision. Handling a decision with grace is always an admirable thing. For now, I am tucking the slightly manipulated fabric into the Aida drawer. It’s back to the drawing board.

Redirect with Purpose

The point, after all, is to make something nice for my sister. Her favorite song is You Are My Sunshine. Perhaps I could design something for her. Maybe I will run across the perfect pattern. The right thing will be in the right place at the right time. I have followed my Lord long enough to know that if I am patient, this will be. His perfect solution rolls itself out right in front of me. If I am open. If I am trusting. And if I am willing to let go of my best intentions, my best laid plans, and brush away the messes I make and allow Him to show me something better. I know it will be something very special to honor my sister and her beautiful family.

Putting my stitching hands to rest tonight.

Although this is an older post of mine, and does read a bit “diary-ish,” I thought the lesson here to be valuable. When things do not go as planned, there is nothing wrong with “quitting.” I have been told a lesson about “not quitting” all of my life, and while that sentiment has it’s value, there is also a wisdom to knowing when to throw in the towel, and pick up a new one. Redirect your efforts and take with you a new lesson. Somethings you will learn the lesson in because of failure. That is ok, just learn those lessons quick before life throws them at you on repeat. All for now folks…have yourselves a fantastic Monday!


For more fun articles on Christina’s stitching adventures read up here:

George Washington Project Makes Front Page!

The George Washington Project – One Year Anniversary

Flosstube Video 1 – Two-Handed Cross Stitching and Parking Method

Christina ~