SuziCate's Musings

The Girl Lives On

I was born of chaos and panic,
eventually learning to settle like
the gray soapstone dust
covering the gravel road and
clinging to my bare sweaty legs.

I come from emerald soapstone quarries
where secrets sink like old leather boots,
truth rusts around tin beer cans,
and hope hides in the murky bottom.

I am of jack rocks and flint arrowheads
basking in deep red clay, Black-eyed Susans
growing rampant in the hay fields, and
treasures buried beneath splintered barns.

I am of splattered rain on slated roofs,
daffodils sprouting on garbage heaps,
Confederate money stashed in attic walls.
I am the stepping stone crossing the creek.

I am the freedom forged by the blood
of the grandmothers before me, the sweat
of the grandfathers who toiled the fields.
I am the dirt beneath their nails,
the prayer of an easier life;
and I am their dream.

I might even be the contemplation of the sun
as it stretches from the sky to warm the earth
and glistens upon the waters of life.

I do know I used to run the creek,
and now the creek runs through me.

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Comments on: "The Girl Lives On" (11)

  1. I like this one very much! Your youth was spent much the way you spend your days now! Your voice and your writing style are both captivating and inspirational. Blessings to you, Suzi…

  2. Beautiful. I wish I could express myself as eloquently as you do.

    • You DO express yourself as eloquently. Your are heartfelt and passionate…YOU come out in your writing and that alone makes it beautiful. Don’t ever think you are less than you are. You are one fine lady, and I love you much. Am very proud to have you as my sister!

  3. simply fabulous suzi. a wonderful poem. your poems are wise, beautiful and very well crafted.

  4. Thank You. Your words hold me captive from the first to the last each time. I find myself rushing to read each line yet holding back not wanting to miss anything. This is not always the case with poetry I find.

  5. I’m not sure what to make of it. You “learned to settle like soapstone dust…clinging to my bare legs”. This to me is not a good thing. Then at the end you end the poem with a strong surprise of ” I know I used to run the creek and now the creek runs through me” which to me is good thing. A beautiful metaphor about life and vitality. It doesn’t jive. There is no middle. how did you get there? Is this important to the poem? Did you want the surprise without letting the reader know how you got there? I want more info about it. don’t leave me hanging.

    Let me know what you think OK? is this what you want from my comment? Am I giving you an unwanted critique?

    • This is the result of an experiment in a book I’ve read. It’s an autobiographical poem. You start with an image at birth. The middle is images of your life. The end somehow is supposed to tie in with you today. The first stanza born of chaos meant I was born into a large family, settling like soapstone dust means I’ve settled and found my place…the image is that I grew up beside a soapstone quarry where the was soapstone dust everywhere…clinging…. The creek was where I played as a child. Water has always been very important to me (The Water Witch’s Daughter-my father was a dowser)….I used to run through the creek, now the creek runs through me. The first part of my childhood I did live by a river. I moved on family property at about nine where a creek ran through it…my best memories involve that creek, it is very much a part of me. Many of these images are not metaphors but specific visual images, though they might have personal meaning to me. Answering both comments in one space here – my family were hard workers of the land…blood, sweat, which they wanted more for their children and grandchildren..hence I am there dream as my life is much easier than theirs was. There are sad undertones in parts, but a triumphant life afterall….I think creek also says more of a peaceful life as an adult rather than a river which to me would mean more turbulent. So there is really no middle…just images in between a beginning and an end. I had so much more in the beginning and cut way back because I did not want it to be a full life story explained. This is a very interesting book about writing and living. It’s called “Writing and Being” by Lynn G. Nelson, an excellent book about writing with your soul and life experience. Hope I explained enough for you…but really mostly just images of my life that have deeper meaning to me, but others wouldn’t understand except maybe my sister. Thanks for your comments and questions, if I missed answering anything let me know.

  6. The poem speaks to me of settling on life. Not having the best or most wanted. Not having the pure. But getting by. Getting the sweat of your grandfathers work but being the dream of your grandmother.
    Would her dream be the best? a fantasy? a day dream? Something she herself could not attain?

    The images are beautiful. I like the use of flowers but it’s still sad and sorrowful.

    Then you come up strong like a creek. Not a river.

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