APRIL EVENING

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A cool breeze touched softly
upon my face. Much earlier,
the sun had tumbled out-of-sight
leaving pink-red clouds
which promised the silhouetted
trees a warmer tomorrow—
a day without wind.
Quietness settled comfortably
about the mountains.
Newly awakened flowers
perfumed the evening
with their presence.
Their colors, tomorrow,
in the sunlight
would become
the artist’s pastel paints.
I chose to be content
with this fair evening
in April, if only
the moment would
last long enough
for me to savor
its sublimity.

© 2014 Freeda Baker Nichols

A Special Joy

Footprints in snow 009A Special Joy

I felt joy when I looked at my firstborn son.
We wrapped him in a blue blanket and took him home
through the Kansas snow.
I called him “Little Precious”
when a nurse brought him to me.  Greg was
the first but three other children came after him,
each bringing its own beaming joy to my young heart;
their first smiles were reasons to be glad; their first blowing of spit bubbles
from tiny puckered lips made me laugh; they could sound like cars or airplane
engines accelerating for missions like those that took their daddy half way around
the world from us. I felt joy when he returned safely to us; exhilaration beyond
explanation when he winked his way back into the graces of the wee ones who had
forgotten him in those long months.
Love is joy and joy is love.
God is love and He is in all the joy I have known, causing my heart to refresh because
of past joyful times. Complete joy comes from weaving threads of laughter onto a
background of love-patched fabric in such a way that only the brightest colors show.

© 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

I wish the whole wide world a Merry Christmas as I post this poem on Christmas Eve,

here in the USA. I’m happily looking forward to all my children being home this Christmas.

Christmas 2012 002

NaBloPoMo#28 Runs in the Family

granddaughter

granddaughter (Photo credit: anothernamedrose)

Runs in the Family

An appliqued red apple in the corner
of the scarf caught my eye.
The scarf covered the scratched
walnut finish of the pie-cooler that
was Grandma Lizzie’s hand-me-down
from her mother. The apple looked
good enough to eat.

“How do you write poetry?” Grandma
asked, the spring I visited her in the Ozarks
when dogwood blossoms appeared
like snow across the hillside.

“Oh,” I began, wondering how
serious she was.  “I start with a word,
or phrase maybe–” I stammered.
“Then I persist until something                                                                                                                                                                                                         
clicks and sentences tumble out, as
though they’ve broken free from a
locked cell.  They land on the page–”

“As gently as the baby quail
you found?” she asked.

The baby quail! Orphaned, it had
come running to me, hungry and thirsty.
I gave it too much water, and it died.

“Yes, Grandma. Like the baby quail.”

itty bitty baby quail

itty bitty baby quail (Photo credit: cskk)

Poems, too, need the right amount of words,
or they die.

“But tell me, Grandma, how did you make
the apple look so real?”

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols

http://www.blogher.com/blogher-topics/blogging-social-media/nablopomo

The Homegoing by Freeda Baker Nichols

“I don’t recall this house,” she said, in tears.
“It’s where you raised us children, Mom,” Tom said.
“Your honeysuckle vine is over there.”
He pointed to the corner of the yard,
where blossoms red clung to a green-leafed vine.
She shook her head. “I never saw this house.”Honeysuckle 003
“The old gum tree’s where Billy broke his arm,”
Tom said, “when he fell from the highest limb.
The pies you baked you cooled upon that shelf
and Daddy liked egg custard best of all.
I liked the chocolate–don’t you recall?”
No matter how he tried, she did not seem
to recognize one memory of home.
Her babies all were born in that big bed;
the drapery at the window, she had made.
Her husband built the table out of oak; that’s
where the children bowed their heads for grace.
But not a hint of recognition sparked
her eyes while she walked slowly through the rooms.
Tom took her hand and gently led her out
the door, across the yard and to the car.
He drove the miles in silence to the Home
where she now lives with other residents.
He left her sitting in her easy chair.
There is one thing that he is certain of:
she’ll know her home in Heaven when she goes.

© Copyright Freeda Baker Nichols

A Special Brand of Love by Freeda Baker Nichols

Brown Ducks

Brown Ducks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ole Jerse

Ole Jerse

With each yank the duck squawked
but Mama kept pulling out feathers.
She needed the down to replace old,
flat pillows in faded striped ticking
Seven children slept on the pillows.
Brothers pillow-fought as peals of
laughter raised the roof of the
weathered house–a home that lasted
and bonded us with the best glue.
Love brand.  They don’t make glue like
that anymore.  At least, they don’t carry
it at Wal-Mart.  But they carry pillows.
And milk.  Cold, from the refrigerated
bin.  Milk we drank started out warm,
hand-squeezed from the Jersey cow
into a tin lard pail, then poured into a
glass molasses jug with a metal bail.
We tied a cord to the bail and put the
jug of milk into a well of cool water.
At supper, the milk tasted good with
cornbread and chopped onion soaked
in it, Daddy’s favorite treat, served
with sugar-cured, smokehouse ham.
After our meal, we took a ride in our
new but used Model T.  Watched dust
clouds behind us on Silver Rock, the
911 name of a road that had no name,
back then.  And no traffic jams–like
Wal-Mart’s parking lot on Saturdays.

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols

A TIME TO LET GO

A U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-97L Stratofreighter...

A U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-97L Stratofreighter (s/n 52-2630) RAF Mildenhall. This aircraft is today on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Boeing B-47A Stratojet 49-1902 refueled by Boe...

Boeing B-47A Stratojet 49-1902 refueled by Boeing KC-97. (U.S. Air Force photo) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You carried a duffel bag
and carbine rifle aboard the KC-97.
As your plane taxied for take-off,
I held our baby son
more tightly.
See you in a little while.
Your words beat inside my heart
louder than the plane’s big engines
which roared into another country
some hours later.
Your letters came regularly, at first,
then stopped
abruptly.
Missing in Action the uniformed
officers came to tell me.

Your name is engraved
on the Wall of Vietnam Veterans,
forever in my heart
and in the heart of our son
who enlisted yesterday.
See you in a little while.
His words echoed yours
as he departed.
My words stuck in my throat,
reached into my heart and
chipped at the ice caked there.
I watched another determined
young man report for duty
and I begged, oh, please
Dear God, please.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

Sparrows in a Treetop

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Eighteen sparrows in a treetop
Eighteen sparrows cling to a limb.
Eighteen sparrows wait with patience
for the one who comes to  feed them.

The farmer’s never too busy
to throw the birds some tasty seed.
He’s awake so bright and early,
gives to them all the food they need.

Do you know about the sparrows,
how that our Lord watches their flight?
Not one falls without Him knowing
in the day or in the dark night.

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols