Falling into the flowers

The Widow’s Lament in Springtime


BY WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS

Sorrow is my own yard
where the new grass
flames as it has flamed
often before but not
with the cold fire
that closes round me this year.

Thirty five years
I lived with my husband.
The plumtree is white today
with masses of flowers.

Masses of flowers
load the cherry branches
and color some bushes
yellow and some red
but the grief in my heart
is stronger than they
for though they were my joy
formerly, today I notice them
and turn away forgetting.

Today my son told me
that in the meadows,
at the edge of the heavy woods
in the distance, he saw
trees of white flowers.

I feel that I would like
to go there
and fall into those flowers
and sink into the marsh near them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Our family has experienced great losses of late. Two matriarch’s have passed. Both with their own wonderful qualities.

On the fathers side, an aunt with a giggle and a glimt in her eye.  Quick with a question and curious as a mouse she taught me 2 very valuable lessons about Norway. 1. Cream cake is just air. Eat as much as you like. 2. Summer nights, full of light, are for fun. We can sleep in the winter when it’s dark again.

Auntie was an amazing woman and hiked up to see our cabin, nearly a half an mile on a trail with an incline on her 90th birthday.  She dug up crocus and lily of the valley for me to place in my own garden.

The other, a mother on the mothers side.  A proper grandma who cooks coffee in a pan on the stove, smells like butter and homemade bread and keeps a wise smile hidden behind her spectacles.  She taught me that marriage means family and the only phrase you ever need to learn in a foreign language is “I love you”.

Grandma told us about the war and how the Germans brought out the rebel in her. She lived in the city and when visiting family in the country, she smuggled eggs passed the soldiers in her blouse.  She knit socks for chilly feet in countries without grandmas.

Both were widows and in their mid 90s, which most would say is a good life.  The former reminded me most of my mothers mother and the latter of her mother, both whom have fallen into the flowers, well into their 90s and widows.  Being now without a matriarch, without that steering  moral compass that can comfort, cook and clothe the rest of us.  I wonder what shall be of us now.

One response to “Falling into the flowers

  1. Pingback: Linens and things | Wife – in captivity·

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