Posted by: janetleigh | August 15, 2007

Dry Bones in Minnesota


Dry bones in Minnesota

You’d stand there arms crossed
in front, gathering your waist
with floured hands, a pause
from oven to table, your silhouette
perfectly framed in stained glass,
staring out over potted pansies,
eyes following the sagging line,
a clothesline too close to ground,
bird bath rimmed in chickadees,
dry bones and brittle branches,
skin cracked and peeling –
old birch out back reminds you,
your own sore dusted marrow.

You’d bend to tender roses hand picked
for you and he, now Grandpa’s Place,
a place which claims my roots,
in the yard out back among Queen Anne’s lace.
Thinking back now –
to earlier days of gathering;
lilies-of-the-valley, Becky, little bells &
cockleshells, kindling, and purple violets
placed within your favorite vase
upon the kitchen window shelf,
with little purpose hands,
where your tender gaze would rest
oh Grandma
how I miss you, and all of Braham’s nest.

Picture “Morning Birches” by Charlotte Garrett


  1. I think that your poem has excellent visual imagery. You certainly describe Minnesota well. Thank you – you brought back some of my own memories.

    Also, thank you for posting at my blogsite. Just to let you know, I was up listening to the gaviidae sisters this weekend. :) Stop in anytime, you’re always welcome, Janet.

  2. [Ack. Uffda. I forgot to sign in. It’s me who just made those comments to you, jeffox. I hope you see this cuz I’m just going to copy what I wrote you and take the “Anonymous” comment down. :)]

    It’s so nice of you to stop by, jeffox, and leave your lovely comment about this piece. I’m glad it brought back some memories for you, too. Have you heard of Braham, MN? It’s a little further north than Cambridge. I love that place.

    And, thank you for your warm welcome to your blogsite. I really enjoy reading it – mainly because you love to FISH. Let’s hear it for fishing. \o/
    I do plan on stopping by again :)

    You’re not going to like this when I tell you I don’t know who the gaviidae sisters are, but I’m assuming this sister act is well-known in MN?
    See you at your place :)

  3. Gaviidae = loon (scientific/latin designation for the loon “family”). I think they sing quite well. :)
    The common loon is the state bird of Minnesota.
    I know where Cambridge is but haven’t been to Braham (yet).

    To let you know, the vast majority of poetry I’ve experienced has been through music, which I really like (that’s why my posts are always song titles). I like your poetry, you express things in ways I seem to understand well (I think). Keep it up, I’ll be checking in now & again.

    You’re a nice person, Janet, don’t let anybody tell you any different! Fly on. . .Little Wing. . .

  4. What a nice thing to write, jeffox :)

  5. This poem really resonates love. Very heartwarming.

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