Thursday, March 24, 2016

You Can't Stash The Sea In A Thimble

[to my Grandmother]

you can't stash the sea in a thimble or

listen to everything you hear
year after year from people who'll only use you

in the end

have God and Christ for friend

grow wise through dreaming

she said to me one winter soothing
when I had tried and tried

stranded at schoolroom blackboards never

working it out without crying
so that the equation

would not make me ashamed.

but that was yesterday.
today I know freedom

from disgrace

and that behind the face of God
are no lies, only kindness

and all this flies in the face of reason

they scream behind the battlelines drawn
while I draw chalk patterns on the lawns

of my imagination

and skip over all of that, Grandmother!
listening to the silver refrains

and watch the small puddles and their rainbows


drain down sidewalk gutters

and spin the wheels of the bicycles we
had then in shades of blue

and think that all that's old is being made new

this Easter I remember the golden thimble
how we embroidered on small hooped towels

in a lavender living room

with a modern sofa-
the moon and the stars

candy in a honey coloured jar

the bluebirds ranging far

and rows of purple flowers
apple criss cross trees

happy the hours, scrubbing the

kitchen floor till it gleamed (you did)
and bars of piano music summer aspic learned

and learning, yearning

for the Beautiful to return.

mary angela douglas 24 march 2016