Monday, May 10, 2010

Flowers Leaning Toward the Candle

Evie Paquette Boyd 1917-2010

She dressed up special for Mother's Day
'cos she heard her husband was on his way
to take her home to her three kids there already.
But six are on the ground here still, her peaches and her prizes;
parenthood is nothing but a string of compromises.

Children almost listen to their mother,
as mothers almost listen to the moon.

She burst with all the glamour and wit of a lost world
preserved in moving pictures whose charms are still unfurled.
She collected her first rooster when West Hills was orange groves
and La Cienega was a dirt road.
She called every bishop by his first name, not his rank.
She supervised her grandkids like a general in a tank.

The willow she planted might remember her,
as there might have been in the end time enough together.

While birds careen and flowers bloom
we pray for rest under the sheet of earth—
we only seem to die because
we need to feel the pangs of birth.

I've been in so many families now, it's a blur;
so many have been called back home, so many re-emerged.
The seeds and ashes swirl, our past and present run,
it's all a rising spiral now, indissolubly one.