Beneath an Oak, Thirty-five Years Ago

So, I’m trying to write a Mother’s Day poem that recalls a significant shared memory but doesn’t sound like a Hallmark card. This is my initial effort–



Beneath an Oak, Thirty-five Years Ago


One afternoon when I was young,

you took me to a brown patch of dry soil

along our driveway,

along with a handful of plastic animals

and toy cars.                               You gathered twigs,

planted them upright in a circle and said

Let’s play zoo.                              Then you drew roads

                                with your fingers, carefully:

This is where the cars go, to make sure

                               the animals are taken care of.

It blew my mind,

how you made fallen tree parts into props for the imagination.

How you made

                                                            time to play. With me.


You taught me:

Embrace your imagination. Never forget

                             where you come from.                 I remember relish trays

filled with olives and cheese and sweet baby carrots

          before Saturday Morning Cartoons, and

who was there with me

as we escaped a burning home

together.                                                           I remember

who has been there,                                        always.



1 Comment

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One response to “Beneath an Oak, Thirty-five Years Ago

  1. Chilling . . . because I remember . . .

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