Day 18 NaPoWriMo2019 – Elegy

Often what connects people is loss. Poetry is all about making connections. They even have that slogan on the website banner. Losses…we have all had some, whether it is a loved one – pet or person – or a job, a home, a family. In the way that the universe operates in synchronicity a bedtime conversation last night feels appropriate for the morning’s poetry practice.

Your Daughter

Last night at bedtime
your daughter and I discussed you.
And really?
You raised your kids fine.
But they miss you.

Part of it
is emptying the family homeplace.
First, your clothes to all
your favourite charity shops.
Then the NHS patient appliances
back to the hospital. Again. But..
It's all good recycling. Still...
your daughter
flees the house absent
of your smell.
Empty now has a scent. Also,
the having to fold
your reading glasses
found on your bedside cabinet
beside the Jodi Picoult book
you will never now know
how it all ended.

Her friends are kind.
But they are young and think
the object of grief
is to forget its ache.
All she wants to do
is remember you.
So we talk
of what went right
and some of your unlived life.

Just before she leaves
before the lights go out
and kisses my cheek
saying "Night Night"
I tell your daughter how
all daughters
become their mothers.
Even if only in our small foibles.
Like the reminder notes
I post beside my purse
and on the kitchen counter
for tomorrow
just like
my own mother.
And your daughter
goes to her bed
with a smile.

Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

Bee Smith is participating in GloPoWriMo2019

Scared Yet?

To “never complicate the simple, or simplify the complex” is excellent advice. Or, perhaps, do not over-rely on positive thinking, stating a positive position when things are really pretty dire. It is wishful thinking without Santa Claus’ elves. Polarisation exists. It is exhausting. It is impossible to reason with it.  Absurd sweeping statements are made. Sometimes they are insulting. Sometimes they invite such cognitive dissonance that it makes the ears ring. Sometimes they seem to patently originate from another biosphere.

Positive thinking just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes the dark needs to be acknowledged, the sheer factuality of negativity has to be grappled.  Such blatant divisions cause schisms. In the psyche. In families. Houses subside and then fall.

But a pessimistic assessment of outer reality does not mean that you need to remain passive. Morality, no matter what one bases it on, is rarely ambiguous.  As Arundhati Roy advises in the quote I culled from a back issue of Resurgence, ” watch…try and understand…never look away…and never, never forget.”


“Be Scared for Your Sons”


But for how long have you

despaired on behalf of your daughters?

Those girls paid seventy-one cents to every dollar

your son gets selling the same lemonade

from the same soft drinks concession.

For how long have you

denied the debt owed your daughters?

Those who care for you in old age,

that feed you, visit you, wipe your bottom,

clean your clothes, wash you

even after you have exhaled your final breath.

For how long have you

despised the ones who stole your daughter?

The ones who violated her childhood.

The ones who buried her body in the backwoods.

The ones who took them and made them

the spoils of an undeclared war

on the female body.


Are you scared yet?

For your daughters?


Copyright © 2018 Bee Smith