A Found Memory

Poem By Frances Macaulay Forde

Fossil:Dry.Smooth?Not smooth - rough.
Light!Weighs nothing.I move my finger
to slip over the top end and find smooth.
A clean cut.A harsh chopping off.

A crack has appeared.It's old,
dirt-encrusted, making the fissure
stand out from the beige of light
and dark mottled skin.

This portion of dead branch has been displaced,
into my warm, clutching hand.
It is bowed, perhaps with the weight
of brilliant blossom in fertile times.

But with age and exile,
the object bears no hint of past profusion.
No scar of leaf or flower.
Only grooves in dry, brittle skin.

Viewed from the smooth top,
a solid golden core betrays its strength.
Marred by a red blemish - perfect oval,
tree blood showing the pain of dissection.

Where did you come from, my severed arm?
You stood in proud grandeur.
High, looking down on sheep
grazing green grounds beneath.

Your ghostly mother, her children
housing nests, hollows, where new life begins.
Waving in the sweeping wind.Bowing
to earth's elements.Dressing for season's ball.

A young boy climbed your sturdy limbs
seeking adventure, chasing the sun
to knock a parrot's nest - not caring
about fragile eggs of new families.

You remind me of my mother.
Her honesty. Loveliness.
No frills - just lines of age.
Her purpose obvious. To bear fruit.

The golden core of subtle strength was always known.
The ability to bend when winds buffeted.
Fissures evidence damage - results of force
against will or ability. Life wasn't always easy.

My mother has been gone for a long time now,
but hugging this piece of dry, light branch,
comforts me.The memories of mother.
The naturalness of her protection.

I remember her hands at the end.Dry,
mottled, beige and brown. Clutching
mine in death. Cold. The heat from my warmth
trying desperately to infuse life.

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Please NOTE: in retirement I have closed most of my web pages including francesmacaulayforde and poetscornerwa. Both of these pages have now been taken over by a bot. However, I have retained my Wordpress BLOG or my ETSY shop.

Comments about A Found Memory

A truly wonderful poem. Very well written
I like the way this opens out, Frances. Widely out, to life, death, mother. And returns again. An ambitious poem.
Thank you Jimmy, for your considered words and high praise. I am grateful for and will consider your suggestion carefully. Frances
A powerful evocation of the travails of all Motherhood, Frances, from the planetary to the personal. Your words glide effortlessly from the general to the particular and you've shown considerable skill in marrying both halves. Use of the tree/branch, mother/child metaphor is elegant and apt. Not sure of the double use of severance/severed so close together in lines 20 and 21. The image is robust and clear but maybe a different word? Just a suggestion, Frances which I think might enhance an already praiseworthy effort. A thoughtful and rewarding read. Jimmy

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