I Wait Alone

rose-1

Your heart, I thought, was ever true
but something changed and you have gone
to keep another rendezvous
with someone else — I wait alone.

I thought that you would be my own.
Your heart, I thought, was ever true,
but now it is as cold as stone
and every day I feel so blue.

My happy days have been too few.
My wedding plans I must postpone.
Your heart, I thought, was ever true;
it cracked like brittle cornerstone,

and flew away like wild seeds sown.
I close my eyes and think of you
and listen for the telephone.
Your heart, I thought, was ever true.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

This poem is in the quatern pattern and it was published in “Lucidity–A Journal of Verse.”

A Poem That Rhymes

Super Snooper

Up the hill and over the way,River
my puppy, Snooper, ran, one day.
Where did he go, what did he find?
Everything that was left behind.
He found a coat of Bobby Joe’s,
and a suit of his Sunday clothes.
He also found one of his shoes
and wrappers from the gum he chews.
Where’s Bobby Joe, I wondered then
and so I stopped to ask his friend.
Well, haven’t you heard, don’t you know
what has happened to Bobby Joe?
Do you think I’d ask, if I knew?
I only know Snoop found his shoe,
his jacket and his Sunday clothes,
a gum wrapper–do you suppose
he moved without saying goodbye?
I feel so sad I think I’ll cry.
Oh, no, don’t cry, said Bobby’s friend,
he will be coming back again.
I found out that Bobby Joe
had asked his dad if they could go
to Disneyland when spring break came
and so they both climbed on a train
that zipped away to Disneyland.
They are still there, you understand–
they’re having fun and laughing loud
among the dancing Disney crowd.
My puppy barked and dashed away
down the hill on that cool spring day.

© 2015 Freeda Baker Nichols

I Am A Poet

“The reason I am a poet is entirely because you wanted me to be and intended I should be, even from the first.  You brought me up in the tradition of poetry, and everything I did you encouraged.”—Edna St. Vincent Millay (undated letter to her mother)

This quote from Millay is in the margin of one of my journals.

Many of my poems have been written to honor my mother. But she never knew that I became a poet. Quite possibly the only poem of mine that she ever read is the one I wrote for her when I was around nine years old.

That first poem was addressed to my wonderful mother. And child-like, I excitedly handed it to her to show her my love.

As a teenager, I wrote a few poems, but kept them to myself. It would be years before I would turn to writing, not only poetry but also fiction and non-fiction. And by the time my work was being published, my mother (and my dad) had passed away.

They would have been pleased to see my name in print, to read my novel, the children’s books, the poetry . . . they would have been very proud . . .

I’m sure of it.

azaleas

Wild Azaleas

I found the wild azaleas growing pink
as cheeks hot-flushed in fever from a cold.
I drew the water for my mother’s drink
and placed the petals in a vase of gold.
I saw her shaking hands turn pale and dry
and move along the rim of china vase,
and then extend just as in days gone by
to mine. No one can fill my mother’s place.
Please do not bring to me your roses red
nor wipe away my tears that fall in sheets
to cover her new cemetery bed.
In Heaven she now walks on golden streets
while I go down a dark and dusty trail
in search of pink azaleas for my pail.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

Looking Back into my Journal

From my 1980sBig truck and little truck (3) Journal: “Time is a most precious gift. We must cherish it as we would our very best friend. We must greet it with a most warm welcome and treat it with respect because the time of each day is as a guest who will not come our way again.” —Freeda Baker Nichols, Tuesday, March 25, 1980.rose-1

LOVE REMAINS

Turquoise waters,
the color of my eyes, you said,
that day when tardy winter came
filling the trees with snowflakes.
My bare arms were cold against
your warm hands as you wrapped denim-clad
arms about me, your Hemingway Cap pulled
over your ears.  “I love you,” you said. “Me,
too,” I replied.  You laughed, but I cried,
releasing a tear that cracked the
moment it touched my cheek and shattered into crystal
pieces. I awoke and hugging me were green muslin sheets;
caressing my cheek was a goose-down pillow, soaked cold
with tears.  Your plane, the uniformed men had said,
went down . . . in the . . . Atlantic . . . nose-dived into the
deep, turquoise waters.

© 2000 Freeda Baker Nichols
Third Place, Rosa Zagnoni Marinoni Award, Poetry Day 2000
Published in Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas 2002