Reflections/poem biography for Imprints

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“Absence is required at the school gate;
my kisses less than a wisp
of mist on the morning’s
laughter-strung air.”

As a fledgling, this poem did exactly what toddlers often do – dressed up in Mum’s jewellery. For jewellery, read symbols here. I love symbols – metaphors, analogies, conceits – albeit that they don’t seem particularly fashionable right now. Of course, as a mum, I do advise my children not to pay too much attention to fad’s fickle foibles. (Yes, that might also be pushing alliteration past current taste levels!) At the same time, this poem was hugely overdressed in its earlier drafts. I had to let go of some of those embellishments, just as I’ve had to let go of my children, so they can discover their own feathers and flight path.

It’s hard not to see children as tiny birds loosed by tree branches, or a mother’s hug, into the big, cold world. But as well as softness, children do have claws, with which to stand alone and grip on when necessary. As my boys grow older, the love is still there, even if sometimes in a form that has to be looked for in order to be seen (window-sill flowers and claw-mark kisses).

As a mum, I hold onto the good memories for those times when fear has me in its grasp and options seem frozen. I also keep them close for the days when the sky is darkened by those inevitable differences of opinion that exist between teenagers and their parents.

Electric Questions - lit version smallerDiscussion Point

How do the images presented in this poem work together to evoke emotion and hidden narrative?

Inspiration/Writing Prompt

What has been the hardest person, habit or desire that you’d had to let go. When and how did you do this? How did you recover afterwards? Write a poem or story about being trapped, letting go and/or freedom. 

plentyfish cover (1)At poetry readings, I often enjoy hearing about the background to a particular poem. ‘Wednesday Reflections/Sometimes I smile’ is my attempt to share the inspiration, frustrations, pain, philosophies and thoughts that lie behind my poetry collection ‘plenty-fish’. Each Wednesday, this blog will contain one of these ‘poem biographies’, as well as points for potential reader discussion and also writers’ prompts. My collection ‘plenty-fish’ may be bought from Nine Arches Press, here, or my website, here. More Wednesday Reflections on other poems in the collection can also be found here.