My plane is airborne, headed south.

Memories march in and out of my mind–

like dogface soldiers.

I’d said goodbye to Mama, then Daddy,

who bent to hug my three year old son

not very long ago.

Emotion struck Daddy like blows.

He straightened, then turned too late

to hide moist eyes.  His blue eyes had

laughed when I was my son’s age.

Youth disappears like the dandelion fuzz

on the face of the wind.

Adams Field is windy . . . but the

planes’ wheels touch the runway

in a smooth landing.

“No, son, Papa’s not here . . .

to meet us.”

Uncle Jim’s brown pickup needs washing.

“Your mama’s taking it bad, ” he tells me.

“Is the wake at the house?” I ask.

He nods. “Like your daddy wanted.”

At the doorway, someone takes my

little boy by the hand.

“The casket’s gray. I never saw Daddy

in a coat and tie before. He’s so cold-looking.

Mama? Mama!”

Her warm arms engulf me.

© 2017 Freeda Baker Nichols



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


DSC_0183 -1_edited-1 2

Two mourning doves
how sad their song–
its melody echoes
all the day long.
No heart can rest,
no tears will dry.
Their song is haunting
like words of goodbye.
Does a loved one sleep
on yonder hill
where roses have faded
and the breeze is still?
A melody echoes
all the day long—
two mourning doves
how sad their song!

© 2014 Freeda Baker Nichols

unknown grave

unknown grave

roses at grave (2)

roses on a new grave

Death of a Newborn

The shining light
flicks its radiance faintly
to pain-filled, anguished eyes
and goes out
before the voice can laugh,
or the feet can run,
or the heart can pound
with eagerness to embrace
a loving world that reaches strongly,
then turns broken-hearted
to the still and empty coldness.

c Copyright 2012,  Freeda Baker Nichols