WILDFLOWER PICKING

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Not long ago,

I went with my sister to the cutover land

We drove out an elderly two-lane road

in a leisurely way.

Our focus was to each side of the road.

Our focus was wildflowers.

Mary is rather an expert at this;

she takes after our mother.

Mama took her four children on special outings,

frequently ending up at the cutover land,

Her eagle eye would scan the thinned-out field,

noting the charred bark on the tall pines.

This was an ideal place for Orchids, Wood-lilies,

or whatever seasonal jewel she might spy.

Mary, too, has the eye and the sensitized soul

that told her when

to pull her old Honda onto the precarious shoulder.

We spilled out,

disregarding the honks and hurled imprecations of drivers

in too great a haste to notice the flowers.

Some time later

we reassured a state patrolman…

who presumed these two elderly ladies

must need assistance.

We held up our glorious bouquets

with smiles of pleasure

and he left us in peace.

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And we are at peace.

We allow this place to draw us in…

to transport us quickly back

to the idyllic ramblings of our childhoods.

Our mama’s presence is palpable

when we stand still and listen for the sound of the wind

as it plays in the pine branches over our heads.

We breathe in as sisters

though our approaches differ when it comes to picking.

I dive into beauty

the moment I leave the car,

drawn by color and delicacy of form

without needing to know the names.

Mary crosses to the other side of the road,

her magnificent mind full of species as intricate

as the names she sings out with glee.

I forget them as soon as they enter my ears,

and photograph all I see.

We both know we are united in our sisterhood

and the road is easily crossed

when it’s time to go home.

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At home

I placed my bouquet below the window…

just next to the kitchen sink.

And the light that found its way

to these blooms of the wilderness

found its way to me also.

Together we greeted each day…

each influx of light.

We gazed at each other,

our eyes like stars remembering…

sisterhood in the cutover land.

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4 Responses to “WILDFLOWER PICKING”

  1. Gel Says:

    I love how you weave together the experience of the present/the flowers, with connections to your sister, connections with the past and your mother.

    It’s so refreshing how so much is conveyed in your words at the same time not too many words.

    “Influx of light”….remembering sisterhood…

    Right now, my aunt is here visiting. We haven’t seen each other in some years. She is really more like my big sister. So it’s interesting timing to read about your time with your sister. There is a special connection between sisters.

    Thanks for sharing. I love your way with words and poetry.

  2. leiflife Says:

    And I love your way of opening to and understanding what I am doing. I don’t always understand because I am in the flow…letting the mystery guide me through expression. Especially, I think, with this post that I postponed for two weeks. I didn’t know how deeply the experience had affected…how sustaining it still could be when re-awakened. Thank you again for the heartfelt response that I so value. I pray that your summer days – and your time with your aunt/sister are fulfilling.

  3. papgitta Says:

    Wonderful. I love longleaf pine forests with native pitcher plant bogs. Trough Janisse Ray`s books I understood some of the South and people`s connection to the disappearing longleaf pine forest. Your pictures are remembering my visit to one of these forests. BTW: beautiful blog.:)

  4. leiflife Says:

    Dear papgitta, Thank you for appreciating our Southern pine forests and my pictures…and for taking time to comment. I am glad you remember your visit to the pine forest; I will remember your visit to my blog. You express yourself beautifully in English.

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