Family Reunion/Three Sonnets

I found a still secluded place. My creance,
an armchair not of fluff and cloth, but hard,
a rock in shade of tree from lightening marred.
Obscured from notice, no one to convince,
I relished fare of pies and juicy quince.
Apart from family woe I watched the yard
with light fists thrown in bluff and swords en guard.
Jocund Slavs fell and lively Poles did wince.

Then him. When I was just a simple girl,
he smiled and took my virtue to the dance.
He was not blood but his was servant to
my side and I too pure for such a twirl.
In awe I watched as he applied the lance
to end our playful brawl. My kin he slew.


Behind the rock I placed my countenance
and watched the red run from their wounds unbound.
His quick and steady hand, not soft, but gowned
in iron gloves ‘round his blade. Benevolence
not near, just gore for trial’s evidence
that need not wait for judge to come around.
It was the chaste he conquered who was bound
to serve her vengeance with extravagance.

The meek one he once took as youthful prize,
he did not know my skill or hardened heart.
I stood upon the rock behind his hate.
He would not find my shadow in his eyes.
My arms were strong. My well honed blade the part
to cleave his neck and roll his head in fate.


But now we dance this day each year steadfast,
not in remembrance of loved ones slain
but cherished.  Praise and honor will not wane
as years do pass. Their sweet memory will last.
Juicy quince and pies with berries red toast
the young and not the lost from that campaign.
We shape new joys and mirthful lives that reign.
A sovereign, gentle yet unyielding, cast.

I will lead this band of family true
to lands of rolling hills and fields rich
to bake our daily bread. Where blessings fall
and giving thanks cascade from mouths that strew
good words and deeds through every little niche,
wrapping our souls in the Creator’s shawl.

Author’s Note:

At Wednesday Afternoon Writers this week we used Bonnie Neubauer’s Story Spinner. We all used the same setting: a family reunion. We could also use the starting phrase: Ever since I was a little… Each writer had a spin to get his or her own words. Some writers tried to use all the words. Others used none. I began with three. But only one –armchair- made the final cut.

I decided to challenge myself to write a sonnet about my family and what a reunion might look like back in the time of yore. When ever that was. As I wrote I realized the story could not be told in just one sonnet, so I added a second and then a third. These might work nicely as an audition piece.

Out of Season

Wednesday AFternoon Writer’s prompt had us get hit in the head with a ball; be knocked out for ten minutes; and have the weirdest dream of our life.
We were to start our writing with:     I was in…
And then pick our number and use the idioms listed under that number. I chose #3:
out of sight, out of season, out of breath
Out of Season by Lexanne Leonard
I was in the middle of a field, but it wasn’t the baseball field where I was playing outfield just a few seconds before. They always put me in outfield because no one ever hits anything that far. If they did, the second baseman, or should I say base-girl, would hightail it out to me and be sure she was there to step in. The pitcher would then go to second base, and all would be fine.
But today, something happened that surprised everyone, the second base girl tripped. As I watched her go down, of course, my eye wasn’t on the ball. Either was my head. All I could think was “Shit! Now what do I do?”
By the time I looked up, it was too late. The softball landed squarely on my head. They also always make me wear a helmet just for this very reason, I suppose. Before I knew it, I was out cold.  I didn’t wake for ten minutes. Everyone was worried. They were calling the paramedics and it took them just about that long to get to me.
In the meantime, I took a little trip.
Like I said, I found myself standing in the middle of a field. This one was knee high in wild flowers. They were beautiful, but I have hay fever and all of a sudden, without even running, I found myself out of breath. I decided the best thing for me to do was to get out of there. So I started to run.
As I picked up my feet, I realized that I was standing in some sort of goo. No matter how hard I pulled, my feet wouldn’t lift out. I tugged and yanked. All the while my breathing just got shallower and shallower. I started to panic. I knew if I stayed there much longer, I would stop taking in air and that would be it.
My dad, our softball coach by the way, made sure that I always knew how to handle difficult situations. Every Sunday morning we would play a game of “What do you do now?” He would put me in a difficult situation. Inside the fireplace with the glass doors shut. On top of the roof without a ladder nearby. On a mountain path I had never been on before. Somehow, he always made me believe he was gone and I would have to fend for myself. But he was always within calling distance, not by phone, but by bellow.  It sounds cruel, but now I understand the method to his madness.
So my first step was to stop the panic and breathe.  Okay, so deep breaths weren’t possible, so I just stood still. Once I stopped moving, I noticed the most curious thing.  All the flowers and the grasses, and the trees that were almost out of sight at the back of the field, started to sway, in unison, as if the earth was a giant rocking chair. Back and forth. Back and forth they moved.  
I started to get queasy. I thought I was going to heave. But that’s when the plants and the grasses and the trees started to move. They started to move towards me. It was like an army closing in on the enemy.
What did I do to deserve this? Okay, next time I promise to keep my eye on the ball. I will not look away. I will also not let the second base-girl do my job. From now on, if I’m playing outfield, I’m doing the job right.
But what was I going to do about Mother Nature getting ready to take me down?
I took one last breath as big as my quickly closing chest would allow.  Deep, deep sucking in of air, as much as I could manage. Then with just as much persistence, I blew it out. But the air pushing out of my lungs came out with such a blast, that I flew like a rocket ship out of the gooey field and into the stratosphere.
Where did that come from? I wondered as I was now soaring through the air, much like that softball that binged me.
It was astounding. I was actually staying up in the air. I didn’t need to flap any wings or have any engine spewing out fumes mucking up the air. Nope. I was just moving through the air with ease.  I was passing over the field of marching death, past the forest of tromping trees. I was free.
For a while I joined a flock of seagulls. Once I made the connection, I looked down. Yep. I was now over the ocean, still shooting through space, and who knows, possibly even time.
I could have stayed there forever, I think.  Maybe I would have gotten bored, eventually. But for now I was thoroughly enjoying the flight.
It wasn’t too long after I saw a tiny speck in the distance that I began to lose speed. As the speck grew larger, I started to descend. I reminded myself not to panic, but to breathe deeply.
Hey, I could breath again!
As I relaxed into taking another huge breath, I sifted down onto the speck that took the shape of a fluffy cloud. My eyes closed and I could have slept there all day with the cool breeze kissing my cheeks and the sun warming my face just enough. But this bit of bliss ended soon enough.
With a loud splash and two quick slaps across my face, I was staring directly into a crowed of worried faces. Paramedics were shouting something like “Be careful.” “Don’t use ice water. She might go into shock.” And “Please step back. EVERYONE.”
I opened my eyes. Pushed myself up on my elbows and searched the crowd for my dad. There he was, towards the back smiling at me. I smiled back and collapsed back to the ground.
My dad and I were always a bit on the outside of things, kind of always out of season with what should be right. He made me tough, though, but only as tough as he knew I could be.