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Seventeen Stockings

December 30, 2011

Sifting lemon zest into
candied peel
I feel you in my fingers

fresh as the day I was born
close as the seventeen stockings
you filled for me.

At the red light, idling,
sails unfurl

I palm the swift sting
high tide

full as the night you died
fresh as the seventeen stockings
you stuffed for me.

Cresting noon, my thumbs soft-seal
two dozen festive pies

a wink
            pungent
                            you taught me this.

A clam slots shut,
caught sudden
in the breath stringing
party lights to cracker jokes

(three pairs of grown shoulders
grazing lebkuchen
and chuckle-mulled stories).

sea
         swash
silence.

Seventeen stockings
filled fresh with my thriving.

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28 Comments
  1. Patsy permalink

    What a beautiful tribute.

  2. nice becky…cookies and pies…i am all about that…smiles…happy new year!

  3. Ahh, the memories that we carry and hold tight to. This is lovely, Becky.

  4. … I’m hungry, sweet

  5. oh i love the warmth and spice in this..the scent of lebkuchen… did you know that lebkuchen is the german word for gingerbread…? yeah – bet you knew…love it

    • A great word for what I was describing here Claudia .. yes ‘cake of life’ .. would make a great title. Thanks for your regular visits.. very much appreciated..

  6. oh..and lebkuchen means “cake of life”

  7. so many great descriptions here! particularly liked – “A clam slots shut,
    caught sudden
    in the breath stringing
    party lights to cracker jokes” – great lines there! was great seeing this up on dVerse this evening, nice work! OT

  8. if i havent made it clear already… i think your a bit brilliant…and this poem only makes me think…
    your consistantly a bit brilliant…from Lemons to stockings…top 2 toe 😉

  9. toe 2 top thanks Arron… your stuff makes my synapses skaz.. it all goes into the mix…

  10. Scent bouquets the clearest memories, doesn’t it — your precision in naming them I think make your invocation behind the seventeen stockings that were filled in Christmas succession before they stopped so potent. And the last two stanzas are as far apart as one could imagine yet seam the gift of memory and its celebration. It’s how the lost stay present, and keep the yuletide warm. Fine work, Becky. – Brendan

    • Thank you Brendan – you seem to have taken up lodgings inside my head.. 🙂 Very happy to have conveyed a message that engaged you.

  11. My morning is filled with the scents of memories. This is beautiful.

  12. Thanks so much Beth… your comments are valued and much appreciated.

  13. hedgewitch permalink

    Rich and wonderful poem, Becky–full of intelligent and clean phrases that bring it all to life –love ‘chuckle-mulled’–a very creative and impressive piece.

    • Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments hedge. It’s always a gamble isn’t it.. creating fresh word combos? Happy to hear that one worked for you…

  14. can’t read this one without tearing up. poignant description of beloved memories and the unending bonds of motherhood. I have my mother’s stuffing recipe scribbled on a hospital napkin (at her insistance). It remains, 9 years later, unattempted in my jewelry box…maybe next year I’ll give it a go. One of your best Becky.

    • Oh Christi… that’s so poignant… I know just what you mean and hope the time will be right for the stuffing to get a try-out before too long.

      It’s very rewarding to know I’m managed to share what I was feeling and that others can empathise…

  15. This piece has such a sense of healing Becky – the scents, the rituals, the memories – all beautifully crafted and deftly woven. Moving and uplifting, particularly with your boys towards the end. We move forward, its all we can do.

    • Yes.. healing and the surprising freshness of the pain… The boys (eldest now 25 but guess they’ll always be ‘the boys’)… they needed to be there… Really appreciate your reading..

  16. A beautiful tribute!

  17. Goodness, this one snatched my heart up and shook it a bit. I agree with Brendan and Joy, full-bodied work here employing all your brightest talents.

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