Mistakes, I’ve Made A Few

Uptight, skinny white girl,
just 23 years old,
I thought I had it all figured out,
and told my co-worker so.

“I’d never do that, or that,
and heaven knows, never that!”
I said, with a self-righteous look,
and right then, I think,
my path was set to run,
not straight, but with
many bends and crooks.

Sure enough, a few years later,
my marriage ended,
my heart was broken,
and that was just the beginning,
of the furies I’d awoken.

Love affairs, I had a few,
some were simply convenient,
but one I thought was really true.
However, he was young,
and wild and free.
I was a single mom,
so he wasn’t right for me.
Again, my heart was broken,
I gave up and said,
“No more men,
I’m through!”

Then came the biggest challenges,
I fell in love again,
and Lord have mercy,
then the trials began!
This man had some problems,
my kids were in their teens,
my mother was dying slowly,
and then my father did the same.
I helped to care for them,
all while working in between.

With God’s help and steady hand,
He lead me safely through,
and as I made it to the other side,
I learned a thing or three or two.

I wondered where and why I erred,
and called myself the very worst of fools,
but then my dad he told me,
a few days before he died,
“I always thought you crazy,
you let your heart lead all the way,
but now I’m really grateful,
because you cared for your Mother
and me, every single day.
If you had lead your life with your head,
as I always wanted you to do,
where would I be now,
without your heart leading you?”

So, yes, I’ve made mistakes,
had my heart ache many times,
I’m not rich or famous,
but what I have is mine.
I have a loving, healthy family now,
and sweet memories to hold near,
I wouldn’t change a thing,
for the lessons I hold dear.

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane
6/3/16


This poem came about from a prompt made by Grace at the dVerse blog:

For this prompt, think of a mistake you’ve made. Think of what you learned from it or maybe how you thought it was the end of the world and it surprised you by turning out okay or bringing something exquisite into existence. Or, think of how it stretched you beyond your wildest imagination or how you would now say, with the benefit of hindsight, you’d actually regret not having made that ‘mistake’ in your life. Share something serious or funny….make us cry or laugh or teach us something from your own experience of mistake-making.

Go here to read more from dVerse! They’re awesome!

https://dversepoets.com

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Memories Never Forgotten, An Etheree Poem

I saw this idea/suggestion on the dVerse blog yesterday and it completely intrigued me so I thought I’d give it a go. Also, today is my oldest son’s birthday so in light of that, I thought I’d attempt an Etheree style poem about the day he was born.

We
had been
laboring for hours,
you and I, wondering
what in the world was
making things so hard for you
to escape the comfortable home you outgrew.
Contractions strengthened, you kicked, stretched, and nothing changed.
Finally, your little heart, exhausted beyond all endurance, slowed.
Doctors came, pronouncements made, preparations done, and here you came!

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane
5/20/16


An Etheree, based on syllables or words, is a geometric form, ascending from one to ten or inverted from ten to one. You can build as many sequences as you like, reversing the syllable/word count from ten to one (or not). Suggestion and more information can be found at: https://dversepoets.com

Repeat of Ode to Mother

This is a poem I wrote last year to my mother. I found it almost by accident this evening. I think it may be one of the best things I’ve ever written because it describes Mother so accurately. I know this is a day late, but I hope you will humor me.

 

Before I was born,
you protected me.
You wouldn’t let
them do a necessary
hysterectomy on you
because you knew there
was me, hidden deep inside.
Thank you for being protective
of me before anyone believed
I existed.

You continued to protect me
in so many ways until the
day that you left us.

Even the last time you
spoke to me, you were
giving me advice that
I didn’t really want to hear,
but I see the wisdom of…
now.

You fed me, clothed me,
changed diapers,
and was there to catch me
if I fell, ever, whether it was
as I took my first steps
or if I fell while trying to
learn how to skate.

You were always there with
bandaids for the scrapes
and scratches, the bruises
and dings of life.

You were not the sort
to go on and on with
sympathetic cooing
and oohing.

You would patch me up,
get me going,
and tell me to not think
about it and I’d be much better.

You were right.
Every single time.
You gave me courage
and impetus to get going
so many times
when I just wanted to give up.

You always listened to me,
giving me the benefit of your
wisdom and your love.

Sometimes you made me
absolutely crazy mad
with your attitudes,
your absolutes,
your stubbornness.

Maybe that was because,
usually,
I knew you were right
and I didn’t want to hear
about it.

You were always the strongest,
most confident woman
I ever met.

Fix a faucet? No problem.
Sew a fancy dress? No problem.
Keep your house clean? No problem.
Hold me when I couldn’t breath
because of asthma? No problem.
Get out of the car to tinker
with it in pouring rain because it died? No problem.
Put together a three course meal with dessert
when unexpected visitors came? No problem.
Wear me out with a paddle when I
rebelled and acted like a brat? No problem.
Stayed calm and collected when I got
lost at JCPenneys? No problem.
Teach me about Jesus and
what was true and what was not? No problem.

I always thought you had
all the answers to life.

I remember your pretty Sunday dresses,
your shiny high heels
as we walked into church.
The smell of Certs in your purse
when I opened it up to get something
for you.

Your ability to talk to anyone, anywhere,
and make them laugh and feel better
was amazing.
It embarrassed me to death sometimes
and I don’t know why.
You were simply being you!

There is so much I remember
about you Mother, that was good.

Then you grew weaker, sicker,
and eventually needed help
with everything: housecleaning,
showering, styling your hair or
dressing you in “that pretty robe, no,
not that one, the pink one.”
No problem.
I was happy to do for you,
what you did for me for years and years.

I cherish those moments.
I cherish all of the moments,
good, bad, and challenging.

I cherish especially a moment
as an adult when you were at
the end of your life and were
lost inside your own mind and
seemed unreachable.

I cried and prayed one day
that I just needed to “talk to my
mother!”

Two minutes later the phone rang,
and it was you, the real you.
You listened and gave me
some of the best advice ever.
Then you said you loved me
and was glad we got to talk.

I cried for ten minutes
afterwards for the blessing
of talking to Mother.

You weren’t perfect,
no one is,
but I always remember,
that you did the things you did
because you loved all of us so much.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mother.
I still miss you.
I still hear you in my head
sometimes when I
wonder what you would do
about something.

You were a great mother,
and I love you, still.

© Elaine Wood-Lane
5/10/15

Love Trail/NaPoWriMo Day 27


If I could see you one more time, I would tell you that I’ll love you forever. 

I would tell you that, though no longer here, you are still part of my soul. 

When I think of you and the great moments we shared, I smile deep inside.

You were so protective; I was a butterfly in your gentle hands. 

Our talks and your loving support were worth more to me than much fine gold.

My wings grew stronger because of your hugs, laughter, tears and great wisdom.

One day you flew away on your eagle wings, but you left a clear trail.

I know the way I am traveling; I won’t depart from it, ever.

Especially if it leads me back to you and the heaven of God’s heart.

© Elaine Wood-Lane    4/27/16


NaPoWriMo — Day Twenty-Seven: Write a poem with very long lines. You can aim for seventeen syllables, but that’s just a rough guide.  I awoke at 3:15 this morning for some reason and parts of this poem were just waiting to be written down so…I accommodated my muse and started writing. This poem started out being about my brother, Joe, who was killed in an auto accident in 1986, but as it continued, it became about all of those who’ve gone on before me to lead the way to heaven. I’ve known so much love in my life and I thank God for each and every person whom I miss very dearly now.

West Texas Twang/NaPoWriMo Day 18

Doris Elaine Wood!
Where in the world are you?
It’s gettin’ dark out there
and supper’s ready!

I’m comin’, I’m comin’ Mother!
I was down the street at Sonya’s.

When I call you to supper,
I better not have to call you again!
What were y’all doin’ anyway?

We were just watchin’ the sun set.
It’s so pritty tonight.

The same sun sets at your house,
you silly girl!
Go wash your hands
before comin’ to the table.

I can’t see the sunset from inside
our house, Mother.
None of our windas face west!

Oooh, it smells so good in here!
What are we havin’ for supper?

Sammon paddies, mashed taters,
sop, green beans and biscuits.
Oh, and chili sauce if you want
some on your patatoes and sop.

It has been so many years,
since this nightly conversation
took place, but I remember
the accents, the sound of
Mother’s voice, and the lovely
aromas rising from our supper table
like it was yesterday.

I don’t say everything as I did,
but many words apparently
I still pronounce with the same
Texas twang that I did back then.

You can take the girl out of West Texas,
but you can’t take the West Texas out of the girl!

© Doris Elaine Wood-Lane
4/18/16


The challenge today is to write a poem that incorporates “the sound of home.” Think back to your childhood, and the figures of speech and particular ways of talking that the people around you used, and which you may not hear anymore.

Definitions:
Taters (potatoes)
Patatoes (potatoes)
Sop (gravy)
Sammon (salmon)
Paddies (patties or more correctly, croquettes)
Biscuits (non-yeast rolls)
Chili Sauce (a relish that looks like picante sauce, but is sweeter and has no hot peppers in it)

Elaine

Living In A Castle/NaPoWriMo Day 16

The castle walls are cold,
even though it is fairly hot
And humid outside.

I’m dressed in four layers
from the inside out,
and still my fingers
have grown stiff from
writing for so long.

I uncurl my fingers
from around the quill
I’m holding, applying
a sprinkle of sand over
my writing to blot the ink.

Through the five foot thick
window walls, I can hear the
crash of the waves against
the cliff walls and I can’t wait
to get down there and take
a walk along the beach,
the lace of my dress dragging in the water.

My favorite time of day…

© Elaine Wood-Lane
4/16/16



The challenge today was to fill out, in no more than five minutes, an “Almanac Questionnaire,” to solicit concrete details about a specific place (real or imagined). Then to write a poem incorporating or based on one or more of the answers. I answered my questions based on my memories from my trip to Ireland and England last year with some of my daydreaming thrown in for fun.

Elaine

L.D. WOOD REMEMBRANCE 11/24/15

Nine years ago today our family lost my father. He was 92 years old and we had been expecting it as he was in the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease and had not been awake much, for about a week. Nonetheless, it was still a shock when the nurse called me around 8:00 AM, the morning after Thanksgiving, to tell me if the family wanted to be there, we should come up to the nursing home. His nurse, Glenn, said he didn’t expect Daddy to last past noon. So, I called my sister so she and her husband could drive up from Brownfield. I called my sons as well and I had Alan with me. We all went up and sat by his bedside all morning. He wasn’t awake, but I felt that he was comforted that we were there. He died about 5 minutes after noon. (It was rather scary how accurate Glenn was!)

L.D. Wood was born on January 23, 1914 in Lubbock County, Texas and died on November 24, 2006 in Lubbock, Texas. He married Margaret Inez Gill on June 6, 1934 in Clovis, NM. He was a cotton farmer for 34 years and then worked for the Texas Highway Department as an Engineer’s Aide for about 12-15 years before retiring. He lived 30 years after retiring, but was so good with his money, that he was able to take care of both Mother and himself all of his life. I find that remarkable.

I miss Daddy for his wisdom, his wry and dry wit, his pretty blue eyes, and all of his love and care. He loved his kids enough to make us behave well, work hard, be honest, and love deeply. He didn’t put up with sass and he taught more by example than by words. He was the sort of man who went to the hospital when family or friends were sick. He called them when they went home. He took neighbors to buy groceries when they could no longer drive. He wasn’t perfect, by any means, as none of us are, but he was a believer in Jesus Christ and was a member of the Church of Christ all of his life.

I still laugh at things he did over the years. For instance, when we had to put him into the hospital for pancreatitis in his early 80’s, he woke up and looked at the end of his finger where a pulsoximeter was attached. (Those glow red.) He didn’t have his glasses on and he motioned me over to him. He whispered, “Elaine, I do believe the end of my finger is on fire. What’s wrong with it?” He was so serious and I got so tickled! I said, “Daddy, your finger isn’t on fire! That’s an instrument to tell us how much oxygen you have in your system.” He said, “Well, I’m breathing easily and alive so I guess I have enough, don’t you think?” LOL!

Anyway, I always get a little blue on the anniversary of my parents’ and siblings’ deaths. I suppose that’s to be expected. I don’t mullygrub for days or cry a lot, but I do get misty eyed. I am SO thankful that I had such good parents. They were salt of the earth and as I’ve grown older and seen so many examples of bad parents, mean parents, and downright evil parents, I have become more and more aware of how very blessed I was to have such good parents. Thank you God, for the blessing of my good parents.

Peace, love, and happy Thanksgiving,

Elaine