April in the Ozarks

When it’s April in the Ozarks
and the birds are on the wing,
when the showers falling gently
cause the meadowlark to sing.
The bird of blue fights the sparrow
and wins the honor to nest
inside the little house of wood
with its doorway facing west.
When it’s April in the Ozarks
and it’s time to welcome spring,
in a garden filled with flowers
there’s a bluebird who is king.

© 2015 Freeda Baker Nichols

bluebird

A Poem for Mama

FOR MAMA

The wild azaleas
were bright
against the green forest.
Their limbs
snapped easily
and lay like pearls
in her small hands.

Wild Azaleas

Wild Azaleas

She hurried home.
Her mama wrapped them
quickly
with a fruit jar,
half-filled with water
from the well,
then turned to her daughter
who smiled
brighter than
all the azaleas
left in the forest.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

My First Published Poem

Years ago, when my second-grader brought home a page of grade-school art, I displayed his masterpiece on the refrigerator door.  By looking at his creation done in crayon, I wrote a poem when I was enrolled in a creative writing class at the University of Central Arkansas. The poem was published in the university’s literary magazine, “The Vortex.”  My first published poem!  Double joy, since it was inspired by my small son’s class project.

Masterpiece

The blue clouds drift slowly
in mid-air, with nowhere to go.
The bluebird flies purposefully
between the clouds, over the trees,
and westward.
The silk violet stands waiting . . .
a small hand reaches down.
Lips form a smile,
a voice says, “thank you.”
The vase holds violets, green stems,
and love.

© Freeda Baker Nichols
Violets at Banner

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the bluebird flies purposefully

My first published poem was the spark that ignited my desire to continue writing and publishing poetry. This simple, short poem in free verse is one of my favorites. Do you have a favorite poem? If so, what form was used to create it? Is there a poem you remember from childhood that still rings in your memory?