Imprint on My Heart

She knew they were for me
God prompted her, she said
when she arrived at the door

The orange-sweet roses were past budding
The florist lady had handed them to her
Said they were too open to sell

Just gave them to her, for free
And then she, my friend
drove straight to my house

Here, I know its Danny’s birthday
This is your day of remembering
God gifted me with these, for you

Long ago my son was born
Short a time he lived
He is an imprint on my heart

Sunsets later
The roses are still blooming
and my heart is full

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Roots

I drive past my childhood home
It’s been many years
and I feel like I’ve checked
under my pillow
and found the tooth fairy’s surprise

Dare I knock at the door
Discover
what I thought was a mansion
is more like a doll house
Will the walls recognize me

Will I remember
for a little while
The love that brought me
through my storms
has never gone away

How blessed am I
I’ll say
While countless childrens’ worlds
these days are in shambles
disarray

without even a doll house
to remember
and only memories to forget

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Perhaps Tomorrow

She sees an unexpected reminder
of my past sorrow
and falls into dread

of her own anniversary date’s arrival
Children are not supposed to die
before their parents, it is said

Hers died without warning, too soon
There’s never a good time
to break your heart

When was her last Good-bye
Did she say I love you, hold him close
Will she ever stop asking Why

And so I search for words
bring her flowers
hold her close and share her tears

And when the crying’s done this day
we’ll have a cup of tea and cry some more
not wait again till May

Perhaps tomorrow

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All He Asks

Words wrench from his gut
torn by un-healed years
of war and sorrow

Find their place in poetry
seeking ears, not tears
to hear and care

Writers assemble
listen and nod
as if they understand

But really don’t
because his pain
is not the same as theirs

Yet in the hearing
is their caring
and some wonder

What to do
Is it enough to listen
And indeed for him

This is all he asks
Jean E. Taddonio

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Mom Helen

Mom Helen

She’ll take you there if you
watch her howling at the full moon
in the light of day,
un-peeling her thinning layers
where we see beneath her surface
to her young girl’s
heart, shining like the rising sun.
We wonder at this woman
we call mother who lives
an un-sung poet’s life and never
sees the extra in a mile
because it’s so a part of her
to give and find the good in
simple pleasures like baking
chocolate chips and
howling at the moon

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Grief Lessons

P1150160Grief Lessons

I picked him up from school
the day my dad,
his grandpa, died.
I needed his company
someone to hear me.
He was only thirteen.
I drove through my tears
stopping and starting
a flash flood of tears
to a department store
to buy a white burial shirt.
I had to do something, anything.
He sat through my sobs
and then,quietly took courage
saying,“Mom,can you just cry once
and get it over with?”
He wasn’t being mean
just curious and honest.
I heard his question
for what it was.
“No son,it doesn’t work that way.”
I say between my weepings
“Grief is a thing
that doesn’t go away
quickly and chances are
I’ll cry more and again.
So next time when you’re around
If I start in
just sit by me and stay awhile
hug me or touch your hand
upon my shoulder
You don’t need to say a word.
I’ll know you understand
and I will feel better.”
And so it was, months later,
when unexpectedly
the tears began again
my beloved son sat by me
with his hand upon my shoulder
and I knew, he knew
that was all I needed.

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Post-op Foot Lessons

I stumbled with my crutches today
not a fall, scary though
Caught myself
learning to appreciate
the gift of feet

Having two working ones
keep my body
in balance…most of the time
They support my weight
no jokes about that one

and carry me
most everywhere
I want to go
How precious are our feet!

Jesus must have thought so too
When He washed His Apostles feet
He taught them about serving others
But more than that I’m sure

How tender He must have been
respectful, full of love
a profound yet simple act
Catch me Lord
Teach me your lessons

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