Birthdays and Poems

During a phone conversation with my sister in California last night, I learned that her second grandbaby could possibly be born today, February 12, on Abe Lincoln’s birthday. How awesome that would be for the baby girl to share a birthday with the 16th president of the United States. However, this day is coming to a close and no word yet of the baby’s birth. Perhaps she will wait until her actual due date, February 17, the birthday of her paternal grandfather. That would be awesome, also.
Speaking of Abraham Lincoln and researching his birth, I find that his birth was two hundred and three years ago. And thinking of the Civil War and Margaret Mitchell’s classic “Gone with the Wind,” which is set in that era, I think of this poem to share.

All That Remains

Water . . . sipped from jar
at end of cotton row
cooled my body
from the hot-poker sun
browning my skin. Once . . .
I spilled the jar . . . drops
of water bubble-danced
in dust . . . then powder-dried,
Mama said, “Like blood caked . . .
on faces . . . of Rebel soldiers.”
I ran my index finger under my
nose and jerked my pick-sack up
short. You’ve still got me, Mama,
I wanted to shout, but kept silent.
Daniel had been her firstborn.

c Copyright, 2000, Freeda Baker Nichols
Published in Encore, NFSPS, 2000