Sunday, November 23, 2008

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES (OSI)





8 mm

here’s my mother walking
towards the camera
Pall Mall between her fingers
and Mamie Eisenhower hair
her lips are moving and she’s
squinting into the sun, the lens
making small dismissive gestures
with her free hand
I don’t remember
what she’s saying to my dad
it looks like: Oh don’t take any of me…

then, here’s my dad, way up
on the stepladder
leaning against the second story
fixing something only he can see
then I see her, I mean me
spinning a blue hula hoop

I’m older now than both of them
were in that moment
I know how and when
each of them died
and I’m much older than the girl
who was myself
I’ve learned some things, information
she could have used back then
I’m just about to tell her
when suddenly the reel flickers
she’s bathed in pastels, white circles
disappears



For more poetic responses to this prompt, or to participate yourself, visit
One Single Impression

27 comments:

gautami tripathy said...

I like this. Memories with parents who are no longer there, are so precious. I miss my dad...

alpha and omega

Sylvia K said...

Lovely memories and images. I always feel a littl wistful when I read of others feelings, memories of their parents. I have few and none that I care to dwell on and that's sad. But we each deal with whatever and in our own way. I think the lack of good memories has made me more conscious of trying to be the kind of parent to my kids that I wish I had had. Thank you!

anthonynorth said...

Wonderful memories. I often think of my parents myself.
By the way, your link isn't working on OSI.

MyBellavia said...

I'm one of the lucky ones! I'm still making memories with both of my parents.

Last year for Christmas, one of my sisters transferred all the old 8mm films to cd for a surprise gift for us all. My parents loved this as did all us siblings. I am awestruck each time I watch.

Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry. Each segment is happy. What a wonderful life they provided us.

There is nothing like a glimpse back to the time of a happy childhood.

barbs.haiku said...

I can hear the film real slapping! Very well done! My SisterDear3 (MyBellavia) just said what I would have. SisterDear2 had all the 8mm movies copied to DVDs and they are treasured by all 4 sisters and 3 surviving brothers (we lost one last year). We know we are blessed to have both of our parents still with us and in good health. Dad will be 80 next month!

Geraldine said...

This was so touching and so beautifully written Deborah. I can relate to many of the lines of your poem. Excellent!Hugs, G

www.mypoeticpath.wordpress.com

PS: To Sylvia, sending a big hug your way...your comment made me sad. I have good and bad memories of my childhood but more of the ones I do like to remember. Sigh....

lissa said...

lovely sentiment with hints of sadness, I imagine the images on the screen flickering and then disappearing, still memories are what keep us whole, without them where would we be?


btw: thanks for leaving an email, wondering if I should just switch back to the full page commenting, anyway, thanks for letting me know

bobbie said...

We never had home movies. They only play in my head. Childhood memories can be wonderful.

SandyCarlson said...

"Oh, no, come back!" was all I could think as I came to the end of this stunning poem. I watched the movie with you for a moment, and it was magical. Thanks.

me ann my camera said...

Memory flashbacks, whether on film or in playback mode in my head, are achingly real sometimes. They are always with me, popping up at the strangest times, but as I have matured and experienced more of life I view them with more empathetic understanding.

I think your words were beautiful and they spoke of family history and loss that has to touch us all through our passage in time.

Jim said...

Very nice Deborah. I am seeing that most of us remember things in detail for a bit, but then the detail stops and the memory has faded.
I like yours, I could have helped my Mom live at least five more years had she been willing to listen and heed to her wise son.
..
BTW, where did you get those short stilts. I guess they kept your feet above the snow. :-)
..

Rose said...

Wonderful! I can picture everything just from your words.

Lin said...

lovely poem, i could feel the moment you described. memories are so clear at times...

magiceye said...

this is so beautiful..... loved it!

mom/caryn said...

Magical. It's a marvelous thing to be able to draw someone into your memories so completely... and then gently release them to wander through the halls of their own.

beautifully done.

Edward S Gault said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edward S Gault said...

Let's try that again...
It's really interesting to see what our parents were like growing up.I wonder what my daughter will make of some of my childhood pictures. Right now though, I want her to have her own memories with my parents.
I enjoyed your poem.

hitch writer said...

You have put this together really nicely.... touching...

Indrani said...

So touching, Deborah!
Precious shots and memories is all I can say.

Squirrel said...

Really nice internal visuals we have of our parents. I tend to recall the good ones although my parents were hard workers -- very busy (making ends meet or struggling to ) and they both died in their very early 50's so I always see them slim and active and youthful and charming and witty. I see them ice skating in the park one winter, dancing together effortlessly on the ice, spinning. They loved to skate but I only saw them skate a few times.

Beth P. said...

Dear Deborah--
I liked this offering a lot--
It is so disconcerting,like you so beautifully said, to want to communicate something important to any of our ancestors..I've recently taken to taking the plunge and blurting it all out--somehow it feels as if time is not linear to them anyway, so why shouldn't our healing be theirs?

Thank you again--loved the 'pastels, white cirlces disappears' line, too...

tumblewords said...

Deeply moving. Parents were so special and the memories so irrevocably tied to childhood and interwoven into stories we pass on. Lovely work.

Quiet Paths said...

I really connected with poem and have read it several times. Great work insights to one of those forever moments, yet so fleeting.

Kathiesbirds said...

Isn't it amazing how we all think like movies nowadays? This poem brought me back to that place where you were. I feel as if I were there also, which of course, I was not! Well done!

fourwindshaiga said...

I can see this scent so clearly. I recognize everything your wrote about, including your clothes!

watermaid said...

This wonderful prompt has unleashed some wonderful memories. I so enjoyed reading your poem. I feel as if I'm being led in to witness you and your parents and share your perceptions.

Greyscale Territory said...

Love how these memories seem to pass you by like a carousel. A glimpse for a moment and then the image rides on!