Tag Archives: Family

Dental Retaliation

 

daily life  color108 (1)

Dental Retaliation

Do you remember toothbrushes lined up on a rack
in the medicine cabinet, at the mirror’s back?
Your father’s brush was ocean blue, your mother’s brush was green,
your sister’s brush the reddest red that you had ever seen,
whereas your brush’s handle had no color at all—
as though it was the ugliest sister at the ball.

How you yearned for color, reaching for your brush
as the first summer’s meadowlark called to break the hush
of the early morning while you were sneaking out
to be the first one out-of-doors to see what was about.
Making that fast decision, your hand fell on the red,
thinking your sister wouldn’t know, for she was still abed.

You put toothpaste upon it, wet it at the tap
and ran the brush over each tooth as well as every gap.
Each toothbrush flavor was different, your older sis had said,
so you thought it would be different brushing your teeth with red.

Your father’s brush was blueberry, your mother’s brush was mint.
Your sister’s luscious cherry—its flavor heaven-sent.

“But because you are adopted,” your sister had the gall
to tell you, “they gave you the brush with no flavor at all.”
You waited to taste cherries, but that taste never came.
That red brush tasted like toothpaste. It tasted just the same
as every other morning when you brushed with yours.
You heard your sister stir upstairs, the squeaking of the floors.

You toweled off her toothbrush and hung it in the rack
and started to run out the door. Then something brought you back.
You opened up the mirror and grabbed her brush again.
A big smile spread across your face—a retaliatory grin.
The dread cod liver oil stood on the tallest shelf.
You were barely big enough to reach it for yourself.

You dipped her toothbrush in it, then quickly blew it dry.
Replaced it, shut the cabinet, and when you chanced to spy
your own reflection in the glass, each of you winked an eye.
Then you ran out to cherry trees to catch the first sunbeam
and brush your teeth with cherries while you listened for her scream.

Yes, we really did have a cherry orchard behind our house. You can see the trees peeking up behind the wild rose bushes directly behind the trellis in the picture above. This is my older sister Patti and I.  Yes, she really did tell me I was adopted. (I wasn’t.) No, I never did smear her toothbrush with cod liver oil. The retaliation part is just a mental one, sixty-some years too late, I’m afraid. She has since redeemed herself.

The prompt today is toothbrush.

Following: NaPoWriMo 2017, Day 13

The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to write a ghazal. A ghazal is formed of couplets, each of which is its own complete statement. Both lines of the first couplet end with the same end-word, and that end-word is also repeated at the end of each couplet.

daily life color242My sisters and I. Strangely enough, there is not one photo of my mother and father and the three of us girls together. The only family photo ever taken was before I was born.


Following

 The youngest of three, every day down unpaved roads, I tracked my sisters’ footprints.
Nancy Drew wannabe, who needed  fingerprints when I could read their footprints?

My mother’s closet a treasure trove, hidden wonders lay obscured on the tallest shelves.
I fanned her dresses with my fingers, slipped into red high-heels that bore her footprints.

Careful where you walk, my father warned, parting tall grass near the homestead ruins.
Fearful of snakes, I fit my own feet to matted grass that marked my father’s footprints.

That frightening choice of colleges facing me, I knew no other way to decide
than to go where she’d gone, and follow in my sister’s footprints.

The obligation of college over with no more paths worn by other feet to follow,
I chose  Australia, Indonesia and then Africa––following imagination’s footprints.

My niece’s teeth clamped to the old saxophone as its mouthpiece snapped in two,
worn by each of the girls in our family and then by her, as she followed in our footprints.

The Emperor of Chocolate

                                                                             image from internet

The Emperor of Chocolate

I am the emperor of chocolate. I conquer every bar.
I can detect its presence in wrappings or in jar.
When there’s no chocolate to be found, I simply can’t abide it.
I can find it anywhere—wherever you might hide it.
My tendency toward chocolate is a tale I hate to tell;
but I cannot help it, for it’s congenital.
My mother abused substances—namely, Russell Stover.
She could not close the box lid until eating them was over.

She couldn’t resist chocolates, though she was not a glutton
when it came to other foods like hamburgers or mutton.
She received a box of chocolates on every holiday—
on her birthday and for Christmas, and for sure on Mother’s Day.
When it came to appreciation, my mother never failed them,
for when it came to chocolates, she always just inhaled them.
One time my dad decided that he would have some fun.
He bought my mom some chocolates to dole out one-by-one.

He hid them underneath the cushion of a chair
to give her one piece daily, but she knew that they were there.
She ate the whole box in two days. It really was disgraceful.
Every time I saw her, it seemed she had a face full.
Only with my father did she manage to save face,
For she bought chocolate-covered cherries and put one in the place
of every chocolate she stole. My father never knew.
She was not tempted by the cherries—a taste she could eschew.

My father always thought he’d pulled one over on my mother,
although I’ve always known that the true jokester was another.
When the box was only cherries, and he offered them to her,
she’d say, “I’ll save it for later,” or sometimes she’d  demur.
To resist chocolate cherries, she was fully able,
and I was fully loyal to preserving mother’s fable.
That’s how my addiction was learned at Mother’s knee,
because the chocolate-covered cherries? She gave them all to me.

The prompt today is conquer.

It’s Not That Time of Year Unless. . .

In my family, after the tree was trimmed, the outside lights were up and that inedible Xmas candy was in the candy dish, there was just one thing that signaled Christmas: the yearly jigsaw puzzle set out on the card table that my sister and I put together but that no one could resist helping out with.  There was always that last missing piece that eventually we found on the floor under the nearby sofa or in the dog dish or someone’s pants cuff.

Last year my friends Patty and Marti and I went to my sister Patti’s house in Phoenix for Xmas and of course took a jigsaw puzzle along.  My brother-in-law Jim and the across-the-street neighbor got addicted, and we could hardly elbow our way into the action once they got started. Under strict instructions to finish it before Xmas dinner, when the counter space would be needed, we accomplished the task, with Patty doing the honors and fitting in the last piece.  It was a fun one.  What’s up this year?

(Click to enlarge photos)

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/time-of-year/

Opposites Attract

IMG_0286The youngest member of our family (Maddie, 9 months) seems rapt over the words and motions of our eldest, (Jane, 90), or perhaps she is just admiring her beautiful manicure.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/opposites/

Gathering Family

Tonight marked the end of our two day family reunion with my mother’s side of the family. The matriarch is Jane, 90 years old, and the youngest was Maddie the miracle baby, age 9 months. I am somewhere in the middle, but closer to Jane by one year as of midnight.  I unfortunately don’t see these lovely people often enough, but every time I am around them I’m appreciative of their closeness and acceptance of either others’ differences.

I had a wonderful time, as you might be able to gather from these photos. (You might want to click on them to enlarge them.)  The statue of Lincoln marks the highest point on the Lincoln Highway. We passed it this morning as we drove from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Laramie to visit Jane in her daughter Sara’s house. In college, the art class I was in came up on a cold blustery day to scrub him down with acid. Yesterday, we just stopped to admire him in his new spot next to the new wider interstate road.  He’s been raised up a good deal on a very high pedestal, so I wouldn’t relish giving him a scrub now.

The other photos were taken in three different locations as different events were held in three different homes. Representing my mother’s branch of the family were my niece Cindy, my sister Patti and I.  All of the rest were descendants of my mother’s sister Peggy and their spouses.  Lots of laughter, fun, memories, discoveries and great food.

Singlish

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Singlish

When Papa grabbed his squeezebox and baby hit the gong,
all the other children ran up to play along.
Henry played the drums and Molly the kazoo.
Oscar blew the tuba ’til he started to turn blue.

Sally on the saxophone and Henry on the flute,
Wanda on the trumpet went rootie tootie toot.
Mama led the singing and Grandma hummed along
as one-by-one the children joined them in their song.

All the kids went swaying, rocking on their toes
as they sang a song embellished by cardinals and crows.
The cattle in the pasture joined in with soothing moos—
the cockerels crooning descants with their cockadoodledoos.

The mourning doves sang background, telling of their woes,
while all the little sparrows cheeped neatly from their rows.
The horses voiced their  whinnies and sheep all baaaahed along
until the  world surrounding us had joined in on the song.

Woodpeckers beat percussion until our song was done,
joining us in music that proved that we were one.
Goldfinches and burros were next to join the throng,
all speaking the same language in this singalong.

I heard it from the mockingbird who heard it from the jay.
It was a pretty chorus that rose up from that day.
Now most days thereafter, we’ve sung in harmony.
If everyone would join us, how grand the world could be.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sing/