I wrote this about eight years ago and thought I'd post it again. One of my favourites




A Chant For Gregory

Her faded floral dress 
clung to a gaunt and sinued frame
as the wind molded it 
to a hard edged body 
no fat no curves 
just age and hardship 
molded angularity 
Arms outstretched 
holding wet flannel shirts
A mouth full of clothes pins 
Coaxing heavy material 
on to the swaying line. 
His clothes...washed every second day
Iron gray hair blowing 
across her chiseled face 
Her eyes china blue 
in laughing counterpoint 
to the drab garments around her
She stood out on the hill 
the line positioned there 
to catch the breeze
The house sheltered 
in the pines gave 
no access to the wind
A blessing in winter 
but warm in summer
The hilltop a summer 
screened roofed platform 
used for "living rough" 
She loved it there 
during sunny windy days 
quiet soft nights.
Her bed and an old rocker 
all that was needed.
Meals, she had lost her 
girlish appetite for food and
other passions many years before
were prepared below 
as was the washing
carried in baskets 
to her summer "place"
The days were predictable
As years blended into decades 
She waited and washed his work clothes 
A joy in summer a challenge in winter
A rhyme and rhythm of
Simple faith chanted calmly
Until his return or her leaving
They would be reunited...
Her heart told her so





Poetry by josephus The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 32 times
Written on 2021-02-13 at 00:21

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Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Your subject and treatment remind me of Winslow Homer's paintings of "fishers' wives." This is meant to be a compliment.
2021-02-14


Thomas D The PoetBay support member heart!
This is at least as painterly, and at least as inviting, as anything by Elizabeth Bishop. An achievement, with distinction!
2021-02-13


jim The PoetBay support member heart!
This is many levels and layers of wonderful.
2021-02-13


ken d williams The PoetBay support member heart!
Bravo! josephus
Ken D
2021-02-13