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