A Poem 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
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


Château de Cheverny, Loir-et-Cher, France - ga...

Château de Cheverny, Loir-et-Cher, France – gardens, lupines and peonies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She was a blossom picked for God‘s bouquet,
my mama said regarding Granny Crete.
Then Mama planted peonies in clay
with hope they would survive the summer heat.

Pale pink
starched cotton
the dress I wore
to church that day.

The preacher said that Heaven is a place
where loved ones go to be with God and wait.
And now my mama is there waiting, too.
She was a blossom picked for God’s bouquet.

C Copyright, Freeda Baker Nichols

Dorsimbra pattern. Published in Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas Anthology

Wild Azaleas

I found the wild azaleas growing pink
as cheeks hot-flushed with fever from a cold.
I drew the water for my mother’s drink
and placed the petals in a vase of gold.
I watched 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.

Wild Azaleas

Wild Azaleas

Please do not bring me roses white or 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.

c Copyright, 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols