Sunday, May 13, 2012

Second Sunday in May and No More Roses

Every year on this day of days
They take part in a ritual
the significance of which
Only those haunted by these
particular demons understand
Or have need of

Each one is as revered as any goddess
And travels as far as it takes to visit
The same sacred place; a site indigenous
To those who die while serving
Their country

With unspoken intentions they converge
As if gathering at a summit, each one
Carrying a flag folded to the exact
Specifications as each other one
They have no need for further elaborations

It is Mother's Day - these are the mothers of dead sons and they meet here annually—
to remember their boys;
It is the only time they allow themselves the indulgence of so much remembering, rubbing their memories like the well-worn beads on the string of a rosary
They store their commonality and strength, the courage they take from each other, fit for another year.



  1. Well wordled, Sharon. I especiall olve "rubbing their memories like the well-worn beads on the string of a rosary." It carries deep meaning.

  2. I love the same line as Brenda. The poem is both sad and lovely. Growing up overseas, with a father important in the community, we attended Memorial Day services at the war cemetery. I always thought the ceremony moving in the extreme.

  3. I love all the lines in this, and will highlight, along with those mentioned by Brenda:

    "a site indigenous
    To those who die while serving
    Their country."

    I was not aware that the Sunday before Mother's Day was a day reserved for this. That added to the lovely poem, making more enlightening and very moving.

    Here is my completely different take:

  4. Egad - glad you pointed out the date thing Paula ... this was supposed to be indicative of mothers day and I goofed up so the title should really be "Second Sunday in May and No More Roses" - This is a purely made up ritual and just something that occurred to me "might" be a way the mothers of dead soldiers (especially young men)could choose to deal with their grief every year on a day that celebrates that particular status ... sorry to lead you down a crooked and unenlightening path; I do write often from a very different perspective than my own and it's usually fictionalized.

    Thanks to all of you for coming, reading and commenting however - I do think various parts of the poem come from a place of grief and heartbreak and wondering what the mothers of dead soldiers do with that pain, year after sad year ...

    1. Absolutely no problem - I was just curious, and I also feel that such a thing is not a bad idea - and perhaps it could be the week before Mother's Day. In any event, not a day goes by - especially upon hearing of the death of a soldier, male or female - that I do not weep in my heart and soul for the mothers and fathers who gave their children birth and have to endure the indelible loss and intractable pain that comes with losing them, in whatever means, but most especially in war.

      Your poem remains moving and it is just as appreciated as it was on my first reading! Thanks for your comments on mine.

  5. Just beautiful. A different, unique approach.

  6. To loose a child under any circumstance would be unbearable. I have never considered how hard Mother's Day would be if you had lost a child. Your writing brings out empathy for those who may be going through such a loss. Nicely done.

  7. I lost track of this being a wordle, as your poem spoke to the mother in me.

  8. Your wordle is packed with emotional intensity. Just beautifully written using the words provided!

  9. I've said it before, I'll say it again... One of my favorite poets and I know a lot of them. This piece drips with emotion, it is so saturated. Nicely woven swatch of fabric there, for sure!

  10. While this may be made up - I would hope that my SIL would not have to be a participant as both a son and daughter are serving - on overseas at the moment. I think there are few families that can say they haven't had some member/relative serve. While it seems more can say they have lost a loved one while serving. I think it is loving tribute to those mothers who would need the strength it can offer. Thank you.

  11. Sara, teri, Viv,Mary, Walt, Jules - thank you all so very much for coming and commenting on my mother's of dead soldiers poem ... it was a bit of an experiment and I was interested to see what sort of response it might receive so really appreciate all the feedback. Thanks again.

  12. this is very deep and sincere and wonderful


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