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17 Stockings

December 18, 2012

lebkuchen

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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24 Comments
  1. This is beautiful Becky!

  2. nice….full of memory and reminesence…the seventeen stockings…such a concrete number, then their death…like the focus on smell as well….nicely done becky

  3. jasmine calyx permalink

    You are going to hate me, but my mixed-up eyes read the first two lines as, “Sifting lemon zest into
    candled pee.” As you well know, my brain is not right. 😉

    Now, moving on … I love this: “I feel you in my fingers”

    And these:
    “I palm the swift sting”
    “three pairs of grown shoulders grazing”
    “filled fresh with my thriving”

    This is a beautiful poem of remembrance, and I’m sorry for being so silly. I also really like the way you used white space and indentations to make the piece even more visually appealing. Excellent work, as always.

  4. Very sad but wonderful poem. k.

  5. Lovely. I especially like your third stanza and also the reference to how you “soft-seal” pies. Very tactile and true. These details help ground the poem in everyday reality even as it drifts into memory and grief.

  6. nice..you even included the german word lebkuchen…it means translated cake of life…love how you include feel and taste..a wonderful poem of remembrance..

  7. a beautifully flowing poem. I enjoyed many aspects. your imagery is colorful: lemon zest, red light, the pies. wonderful words and deep sentiment at once. your ending feels quite magical to me.

  8. fantastic word choices Becky. Such a nice sense of motion, flow here. Unique combinations make for terrific lines. Thanks.

  9. Sad thankful Christmas remembrance for when they left you but only gifting you with 17 rich years.
    Well, that is what I got — very nice.

  10. My first thought is, Oh – only 17? That’s way to soon your mom. All the little details of the senses add such tenderness to this. And I really like your, “chuckle-mulled stories.” That’s so perfect for Christmas time.

  11. And may there be 17 more, giving you fodder for future brilliance.

  12. Beautiful and mighty thought provoking. Was the ‘feel you in my fingers’ a nod to Love is All Around? I will print this and ponder on it all day… thanks for the Christmas gift.

    • Happy that you enjoyed it Jo. Was it a nod to Love is All Around? Well, not consciously, but phrases do lodge themselves don’t they? Love Actually is a film we watch every Christmas and as you know, Bill Nighy’s version is central to one of the stories in that movie.. so who knows? All the best for the season.. always about being with loved ones for me 🙂

  13. hypercryptical permalink

    Beautiful, just beautiful.

    Anna :o]

  14. Aurally (and visually, but it’s your aural devices that I always feel are superlative by anyone’s yardstick, ever), this sings and zings like the zest, but look at the the dynamic when you shift from normal typeface to italics two-thirds down. Pretty poetry, perhaps hinting at the past, nostalgic, very active and full of wonderful descriptive passages, is lifted more than a notch. I get a shiver. The clam line/stanza is dynamite and just a little nasty.

    Very, very, oh-so-exceedingly strong poetry, Becky. I’m spittin’ dust, girl.

    • Ha! Not such a dusty comment I’d say 🙂 Great to hear how you read this and which parts affected you.. thanks for that feedback. Trying to capture and represent emotion is always a challenge, but one I relish.

      Strange thing about the italics.. can’t switch them off – even my side-bar’s italicised. Any ideas?

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