May 25, 2015

Looking Back

It's been a bit since I posted and yet, you still visit the blog. Thank you. 

In the United States today was Memorial Day and in spite of retailers pushing sales and beginning of summer fun, most Americans take a bit of time to remember members of our armed forces who gave their lives in service to their country and to each of us. Giving one's life for a country is a heavy thought, substantive and even profound.  

Since I was a young girl, I understood this commemoration and the sacredness of it. In the late nineteen-forties, kids spoke in hushed tones of someone's father who was lost in France or Germany or the Pacific and later, in Korea. We accepted that many kids had only one parent because the other was lost in war. Having one parent seemed normal to me as one of mine was lost, but not in war. In the mid-nineteen-sixties, we spoke of friends and classmates who went to Vietnam and didn't return. That distinction marked a loss of innocence for my generation. Soldiers were lost in World War II and Korea but our generation didn't come home and that was a lot closer to the bone. 

"Rosa Multiflora" is an old poem I wrote about that time that I would like to place here on the blog. 

        Rosa Multiflora

They grew thorny and wild;
The thicket covered our hilltop.
Big bulldozers cut through
To clean brick-red clay.
“You have to dig up their roots,”
The landscaper said, “So
“They never come back.”
 In another life, these weeds
Were coveted Rambling Roses
I snipped and carried in newspaper
To a distant, shaded hilltop,
In that other life.
Through black cool earth,
I stood them like sentries
On lumpy graves of people
Gone before my life.
I placed big empty jars
Like single greenhouses over them
So they could grow roots
But they never came back.