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In Sweden

in If you love poetry, writing it or reading it, you belong here Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:19 am
by collaborativewriter • 85 Posts

Here's a poem I was inspired to write while here in Sweden (where I visit; I do not live here. I do not live anywhere, really. I am a squatter in my own life).

I'm going to be sending this off to a publisher who is looking for writing relevant to older people.

In Sweden

You tell me
in the voice that undulates
green and solid as the Stone Age hills
of your mother's birth:

We must cross the graveyard to reach mother's house.

And so we go
picking our way through the mouldering autumn headstones.

September the 30th.
Her birthday: 91.

The first cake of green sugar icing
chosen one spring day
long ago
when she still smiled

light as air.

You tell me, in a voice falling
like cool dew on the morning fields
of your mother's childhood:

The best cakes come from this konditori, no other.

And so we go
searching for the perfect cake.

The princess cake of wishes
one brief candle added, an afterthought
her youth told in the fanciful marzipan shell
the inner layer of cream soft and sweet and white

light as air.

You tell me
in the booming voice of
thunder rolling off the golden summer wheat
of your mother's womanhood:

Each week we take mother to visit father's grave.

And so we go
marvelling at the age of the dead.

The men lie flat

Your sister digs
a tumulus for flowers
stamens shriveled brown and wasted
their once-thick waxy excrescence a memory

heavy as earth.

You tell me
in the harsh voice of the cawing blackbirds
flying to their nighttime roost
over your motherís house:

In Sweden, we feel longing.

The lone pink icing rose
Summerís last warm exhalation
Dangles tight-budded from the autumn-cold yellowed stone
of your motherís house

Frail shield, face to winter.

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