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More Poems & Poetry From a Motherless Daughter - From Season to Season, I Remember You

Updated on September 10, 2012


Skies of burnished steel, Do they threaten rain, or maybe snow?

Old Man Winter's icy breathe stinging cheeks and nose.

Frosty are the footprints trailing all across the lawn

Leaving evidence that solstice draws near.

Peppermint and evergreen mixed with the newly fallen snow

Heady scent of seasons past, stirring at heartstrings

Bittersweet taste of memories linger on my lips,

Winter came today bringing thoughts of you.

Up above me, gleaming fire against the black velvet night

Brightly burning guiding light to shepherds and kings

Beckons now for my swift return to seasons past,

Where yuletide visions of my youth await me.

Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger bread people in their houses

Decking the halls, wrapping the gifts, Christmas Eve by candlelight.

Little girl dresses tied with big red satin bows,

New Mary-Janes of black patent leather,

Faded photographs of captured moments, colors muted by time

Memories dimmed, by loss of feeling they cannot contain.

Happiness and peace begotten by a mother's smile,

A daughter's remembered delight and joy.

By gently glowing candlelight, glittering Christmas tree

Images beginning to blur, I close my eyes tight,

Like melting snow, remembered emotions slip away.



Spring arrives, nipping like a brown speckled puppy at winter's heels,

Circling a couple of times, hunkering down on all fours

Yipping a demand to be noticed, Slinking back,

Before playfully attacking again

Beneath the cottony wisps of white in a sky of cerulean,

Gentle is the breeze upon my face, warmed by the sun

Eyes closed tight, creating a kaleidoscope of light

Spring has arrived, to bring me thoughts of you

All around me, Kodachrome memories spring up to greet me

Like wildflowers in the meadow, bright in the sunlight

I recall picnics, music, long walks in the wood,

Winding, like the daisy chains you once wove

A path strewn with joyous moments, between a mother and child

Little girl giggles, spinning around in her white dress

Catch me Mama! You smile, I flop down beside you

We watch the clouds, I don't want to leave here.

I am careful not to linger, lest the clouds grow gray and dark

Gentle shower turning to Mother Nature's wrath

Crack of thunder, Lightning flash, Running hard I flee

The sting of hailstones against bare legs

Howling winds, driving rain, a tempest to mar another spring day

Reflection of my anxiety, confusion, anger, fear

Heart of a little girl, pricked by a wildflower thorn

Mama is too weak to come outside and play.



Popsicles melting, dripping slowly away like long hot days

Seemingly, endlessly, stretching out before us

Sticky syrup puddles forming on warm concrete

Underneath two pair of swinging bare feet.

Blazing sun, a cloudless sky of blue, the shimmering of heat

Coppertone and barbecue wafting in the air

Fireworks boom and sizzle, lighting the darkened sky

Summer comes again, and I think of you.

Yellow handle, blue bucket, filled with sand dollars and seashells

I am safe. Water lapping gently at the shore

Wading, toes curled into the sand on Mother's Beach,

Holding on tightly to your outstretched hand.

Reading in the hammock, sheltered in the shade of the old peach tree

Sipping black cows on the back porch as the sun sets

Red across the sky, promising another day

Filling the pages of a memory book.

From sunrise to sunset, from one year to the next,

Counting angel kisses on your nose just like mine,

Noxema slathered on tender pink sunburned skin

Chapter and verse, memories left behind.

Driving up the coast that summer, singing songs by Kenny Rogers

We watched the pelican on the piling take flight

Sitting quietly on the dock at Half Moon Bay

Holding hands, our last long walk on the beach.



Summer leaves Southern California on the Santa Ana wind

Warm days heating away the chill from autumn nights

Yellow Chrysanthemums bloom brilliant in the sun

Fall fills the air with memories of you

Withering leaves falling from trees, to dance with a gust of wind

Before skittering away like children at play

Amid promises to return again next spring.

Of all of the seasons, Fall's new beginnings you favored most

New school years starting, new wardrobe, feeling renewed

Crisp chill in the air, everything golden and bright

When the long hot days of summer had gone.

Princesses and witches and goblins and ghosts calling for treats

By flickering light of a carved jack-o-lantern,

You would ooh and you would awe, admiring every one

Seeing all from the children's view.

Eleven Halloweens and Thanksgivings, for which I am thankful still

Twelve autumns in all, the time I was to be given

Blessed with the privilege of being your daughter

I remain grateful, for years not enough.

Season to season from winter to fall to winter again

I close my eyes, take deep breathes, counting one to ten

Holding tight to what I fear time might steal from me

A mother and daughter, I remember you.

-Kristen Burns-Darling ©November 2011 (all rights reserved)

One of the very last pictures of my mother with me and my sister.  August 1978, San Diego Zoo.
One of the very last pictures of my mother with me and my sister. August 1978, San Diego Zoo. | Source

About this poem

My mother passed away in 1978 from complications of ovarian and lung cancer. She was only forty years old, and left behind a husband of twenty-three years, and two daughters who were eleven and nine. I am the oldest of those two girls. From the age of eleven on, I was a motherless daughter. Since 1978, I have amassed a collection of poems and short stories that center around the sense of loss and alienation that is central to the life of a motherless daughter, and their subsequent effects. From Season to Season - I Remember You, is the latest addition to that collection .


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    • K. Burns Darling profile image

      Kristen Burns-Darling 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      @WillStarr - This is a lovely thing that you are doing for that daughter...When my mom died in 1978, I was eleven years old, and coveted her memory, nearly to the point of obsessiveness...there was, and sometimes still is, a fear of not being able to remember. I remember waking up one morning about 6 months after she passed, and having an absolute anxiety attack because I suddenly realized that I could not remember her voice. That Christmas, my father gave me a cassette tape, and his tape recorder (remember those old-fashioned rectangular tape recorders with the handle at the top, and the buttons at the bottom?) On that tape are my mother and I singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," and Patti Page's "Left Right Out Of Your Heart," and "Mocking Bird Hill" I was around three or four years old when we made that tape, and I don't remember making it, but it was the best Christmas present that I received that year, and remains in my top three of all time. Fearing that something would happen to the tape, I made several copies of it, (and rightfully so, that original tape was eaten by a my tape player when I was a teenager.) and still have it today 33 years later. I don't listen to it often anymore, but sometimes, on a day when I am really longing to hear her voice, I can still pull it out of my memory box and listen to it. I only know the name of one of my mom's friends from high school, my mother graduated from high school in June 1955 and my parents married in July of that year, as my father's orders were taking him to North Carolina, and I think my mom lost track of her classmates, and they of her, except for the one girl who had been her best friend, and I did hear through a cousin of my mother's last year, that she is still living and lives somewhere near, perhaps I can try to contact her. My mother was an only child, but her father, was one of 9 brothers and sisters, and they were a very close knit family, the brothers and sisters, always living within blocks of each other, and in some cases, as in with my grandfather and his brother Howie, living on the same street, so all of their children attending the same schools, so I have been blessed with lots of shared memories and pictures that I might not otherwise have had, and I am blessed with the greatest god-mother in the world, who lived next door to me my entire childhood, and was the sister my mother never had , who always understood how important it was for me to hear and to talk about my mom, even in the years when my father's grief was such that he could barely bring himself to speak her name. My life-long best friend passed away from brain cancer (horrible disease!) in December of 2009. He was a single father of two daughters who were fourteen and fifteen at the time of his death, and whom he had raised by himself since they were three and seventeen months old, and they are my god-daughters, I am in the process of doing something very similar for them for Christmas this year, in that I am putting together a book of our memories, most of them stories that they have heard over and over again from me and their dad, and a few that they haven't. Again, it is a wonderful thing that you are doing for that daughter,and I know all to well how much your act of kindness will be appreciated and cherished, both now and in years to come.


    • K. Burns Darling profile image

      Kristen Burns-Darling 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      @Dexter Yarbrough - You are very welcome, and thank-you, not only for the gift of your time, but for your lovely comments and your votes of confidence as well, they are all very welcome and deeply appreciated.


    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      A young woman I know on Facebook is the daughter of two classmates of mine. Her mother died of brain cancer at 38, and her father was killed at 52 in a car accident. She longs to know everything she can about her parents, and I've written to her, telling her about their high schools days.

      Perhaps you could contact some of your mother's classmates. They might even have pictures to share.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 6 years ago from United States

      Hi K. Burns! My feeble attempt at commenting with the right words would do your sentimental hub no justice. So I will just press "awesome," "beautiful" and "interesting." Thank you for sharing - your thoughts and feelings - a part of you.

    • K. Burns Darling profile image

      Kristen Burns-Darling 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      @WillStarr - Thank you so much for your gift of time, and for your support, they are both welcomed an appreciated.


    • K. Burns Darling profile image

      Kristen Burns-Darling 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      @b.Malin - It is so very true... Every one of my journals from 1978 until the present, is randomly littered with letter to my mother, and there is no rhyme and reason to it either, sometimes it is on the big important days, my high school graduation, my wedding day, when my kids were born, and sometimes it's just a thought that I wish she were here to explain to me. Thank you for the gift of your time, and for your comments, as always, they are welcomed and appreciated!


    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I really enjoy your word-smithing!

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      From Season to Season, we never seem to outgrow the need to speak with our Mothers whom are no longer with us. The Memories linger long after they are gone. These poems were so Beautiful and Heartfelt a read K. Burns. Especially how early in Life your Mother passed, she still left you such Wonderful Thoughts that you have shared in your Poetry, Thank you.

    • K. Burns Darling profile image

      Kristen Burns-Darling 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      @rjsadowski - Thank you so much for the generosity of your time and for you very kind comments, they are both welcome and deeply appreciated.


    • rjsadowski profile image

      rjsadowski 6 years ago

      You actually made the four seasons come alive and you triggered many memories from my childhood. Bravo!

    • K. Burns Darling profile image

      Kristen Burns-Darling 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      @ RVDaniels- Thank you very much for the generosity of your time and for your comment, they are both welcomed and appreciated.


    • RVDaniels profile image

      RVDaniels 6 years ago from Athens, GA

      Your mom seems like a lovely lady, she'll live in your heart forever and in this lovely poem

    • K. Burns Darling profile image

      Kristen Burns-Darling 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      @Hoganscarpeworld - Thank you so much for the generosity of your time, and for your comments, they are both welcomed and deeply appreciated.


    • Hoganscarpeworld profile image

      Hoganscarpeworld 6 years ago from Top

      So moving poetry,Mother is great!

    • K. Burns Darling profile image

      Kristen Burns-Darling 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      @Poohgranma - Awww...and I am deeply touched by your praise and your friendship. My parents were both remarkable people as well as truly wonderful parents...I only hope that I am doing half the job with my three, as they did with me. Thanks as always for the gift of your time, your comments, and your friendship and support, they are not only welcome, but deeply appreciated.


    • Poohgranma profile image

      Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge

      As always, your poetry has touched the deepest part of my heart. Your Mom and Dad must both have been such loving and nurturing parents to have raised a daughter filled with so much love, compassion and the ability to keep those traits passed down from generation to generation as I see happening with your kids - I started to say children and then thought better of it. This is just perfect!