Tinder leaf mosaic spreads itself in the fall of day
across the deck. A few green locust leaves spackle
It is almost autumn after a summer too quickly
lived. The deck once unblemished as my father swept
away the confusion, now crackles under my step.
Before it was an old man’s complaint of disorder
at each juncture leaving nothing behind but bare
wood. I never understood.
This first summer after his departure, there is
no one to clean away the chaos. His only
child, I am not like him.
Low hanging branches tap me as I cross
their path, a comfort. He always trimmed
them short, out of everyone’s way.
His lawn groomed for a major league outfielder,
mine a home to rabbits. No place for perfect ball
I was the daughter he raised, but left a woman.
This autumn I release the guilt of missed perfections
and give myself permission to fail.
I allow nature’s foibles to entertain me, delight me
me with its eccentricities, and paint my days
in luscious amusement.
My father passed away in January at the age of 94. I didn’t realize until we moved him in with us around twelve years ago that he suffered from OCD. I would come home to kitchen draws perfectly arranged with space between each utensil. He was always sweeping the deck. I didn’t realize it. He must have done it every day because all I ever saw was a spotless deck and could never understood why he complained so.
Now that he is gone, I am finding that I tried to be perfect in everything to please him. I wasn’t, neither was my mom. I realize I can now relax and let go of this need to please him. I miss him dearly, but am finding my new way of looking at myself and the world a gift that only death could bring.
I was married at 14 and was married all my life or at least 52 years of it. When death released me from being a wife and I realized I could be me, I began to discover the wonder of who I am. I still miss Gerry and always will, but it’s been fun to be me trying new things and taking charge of my life. I am moving out of my daughter’s home to have an apartment of my own. I have never lived by myself before. My granddaughter lived with me when my husband died, and I have been living with my youngest daughter ever since. I hope you enjoy your discovery of self too, it sounds like you are. God’s blessings to you dear Lexie and thank you for sharing. As always your writings area beautiful expression of you. Your sister in Christ Jesus, Barbara McBride
Oh, Barbara, thank you so much for your heartfelt words and willingness to share your story. You are a true inspiration to me with your life and your beautiful poetry. It just proves we can always begin a new journey with the right attitude and faith in our Lord Jesus. Peace to you this day, my friend, peace and love. ❤