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Late summer unfolds me.
Perhaps it is the call
of the dog-day cicadas,
or the stirring of the clear air dancing
its way through my unfurled windows -
I am winged like clean sheets from the dresser,
windborne over familiar faces from my past.

I become my maternal grandmother, Elizabeth,
walking, as she did, barefoot in the grass,
gathering dandelion leaves from a hard earth,
folding them into a pot of boiling water,
bright green and softened,
then tempered with vinegar and
a small dash of salt.

I become Lorene, my paternal grandmother,
busy, as she was, hanging pillowcases
in the sun, watching them
billow about like landlocked sails,
snapping occasionally in the crisp breeze, until,
warmed and fresh, they are subdued
beneath a weary head.

I become the young child, the wild lavender,
gleaned from late summer memories
sown far too many seasons ago,
now flourishing along the unforgettable lane.

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content


brings to mind, crisp, yet warm days with clear blue skies with tiny scudding clouds. The snap and whisper of clean, white sheets and pillowcases on the line out in the country. I don't know many people of my age, that have memories of being two years old, but I do, and maybe because I have exercised them and brought them out to hang in the sunlight, is why. I have many, many memories of my mother and I just hanging out, both literally, with the clothes and just having lunch in the yard. Just her and I at the little cobblestone house in Broadalbin, N.Y. These are memories worth keeping. Thank you for the exercise. ~ Geez.

Writing purely for oneself, is the ultimate in defensive posture.

This particular contest / subject really brought back lots of feelings and memories, and this poem seemed to naturally take shape. I'm so glad it touched you and I'm glad you have similar feelings and thoughts from your youth. At one time, laundry hanging on the line was familiar and friendly, and apparently one of my favorite associations with my past. Thanks for sharing your past memories, too.

author comment

Fantastic, unique and captivating writing...impeccably woven into wonderful words.

Nice one!

"Poetry is invariably imbued with a sense of calm and serenity".


Thank you very much for reading and commenting!

author comment

lovely and loving imagery. I like the third stanza the best, taking you back to your first lines of the sheet "winged" from the dresser--the sheet as a bird, in this case. In the third, it's not a sheet but a pillow case, which has become a sail.

here are two things that occurred to me...first, to say the pillowcase "billow like landlocked sails" instead of flap. For one thing, it is more alliterative. also, smoother on the tongue. But more significantly, it puts more emphasis on when the pillowcases occasionally snap.

The other thing might be to give the grandmothers their names, instead of maternal and paternal. To personalize them will draw us even closer to them--and to your memories. Grandma May, and Grandmother June. However it was that you called them.

(I posted this once, and then my internet crashed - apologies if this shows up twice.) I like your suggestions. I used "billowing" in the first stanza, and want to avoid using the same word twice within the poem, so I may shuffle things around a bit. My grandmothers' names were Elizabeth and Lorene, respectively and I very much like using them. I'll put some thought behind that, too. I'd like the poem to feel both inviting, yet somehow keep the reader as an observer, sitting to one side watching the poem "unfold."
Thank you!

After Revision: Used my grandmothers' names. Thanks so much for helping with this!

author comment

For making me realize that the fading days of summer also bring Me memories of my grand parents. Makes me wonder what my grand children will remember about me..........

From reading your poetry, I would think your grandchildren will remember you fondly.
Thank you!

author comment
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