Friday, May 21, 2010

Goodbye my Sister

That’s surely not my sister
Lying in the heavy wooden coffin.
Her, with the poofed up hair,
The bright blue suit, hands folded nearly

She's cold, for God's sake,
give her a blanket, wake her up.
bring a smile to her lips,
a glitter to her eyes.

Up Edie, times awasting,
we need you, kid
There are dishes to wash,
pies to bake, hearts to heal.

You climbed higher than I,
In trees when we played.
You pinched my butt, laughed
at my blush and ducked my slap

Come back, my sister, I miss
your mischief, your ready laugh
Me, the older one, promise to listen
Not to laugh and sneer

But the lid comes down
the coffin is lowered.
Tears to tears, dust to dust
Edith doesn't live here anymore.

Her sister 2003
©Natalie Norman Baer

Monday, May 17, 2010

Writers Group

That's George and Sandy at our biweekly writer's group here in Kailua-Kona. We've been together some seven or eight years reading our latest story, memoir, poem. George has had two or three stories published, Aurora finishing up her murder mystery, Alaina her years in Ireland as a child and Jerry his novel of a search for a missing GI. I'm still at "Witches in Season" the story of my 9th great grandmother who died in 1692 at Salem jail adjudged a witch and bits and pieces of memories. I don't know what will become of it all, perhaps packed in a box marked "Read after I'm gone".

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday in the Thirties

This is the four of us on a Sunday. In years earlier than this, Mother would dress us in our best clothes, sit us on the couch and say,"Don't move", while she readied herself to take us to church. I loved my Sunday School with its singing and stories but absolutely hated church, the long dreary sermons, the sitting still, make no noise, relieved only by the ocassional hymn. Mother would say, "You can give one hour a week to the Lord." but I didn't think so, and quit going to service as soon as I got away to college.
Our main meal on Sunday was after church, usually a fat chicken with lots of good, overcooked vegetables, my dad carving at the head of the table and passing each plate down. Afternoons in the years before the war (there was only one war in my youth - the Second World War) were to be spent quietly, no running around outdoors, but playing with dolls was OK. We Baptists (Northern Freewill Baptists) didn't believe in dancing or playing cards on Sunday. But visiting relatives was fine and we'd load up our small Ford coupe, all four girls, Mother and Dad, and be off to visit the Simonini's, my Father's people. They were Catholic and didn't have the strictures of Sabbath behavior that we had at home - as long as my grandmother didn't know about it, we played with flair outdoors.
The war changed all that - fashions of behavior loosened up, we could even shop on Sundays, imagine!!
I wouldn't go back to those prewar years, I prefer the tug and tussle of life as I live it now but those early memories remain tucked away like a delicate handkerchief to take out and touch on this Sunday afternoon so many miles and years away from my New England childhood.
©Natalie Norman Baer