This month holds my birthday a new grand-daughter’s, a sister-in-law, a daughter-in-law’s mother, my step-mother and my ancient black dog. I am expected to provide poems and art.
This summer brought an unusual gift a ‘grand-daughter’ almost 17 who is Sudanese. She recently celebrated 17 and I used the occasion to write her a welcome to the family poem. I’ve done this for every new child and this warm and talented young lady deserved no less. (She is also a poet.) Here is her art and her poem.
On a soft summer evening
bathed in moisture laden air,
a new bloom rich in midnight velvet
shown like a sudden sun into our lives.
The bright bud blown by unexpected winds
landed in many different places but
the fickle wind never left the young bud
alone long enough to take root and blossom.
Her bright bloom fell into our lives
to perfectly fill the empty place in our garden.
Our family garden glows with many flowers.
We welcomed each with words of love.
So, welcome Nya, to our crazy quilt bed of flowers.
You fit right into the song our blossoms sing.
Hello to your sudden sun smile and
hello to your midnight velvet stalk and leaves.
Janice Eskridge © 2014
layer upon layer
flowing into being
on growing stems
making us who we are
what we will become
layer upon layer
vibrant petals of youth
against the darker
petals of sorrow
they create a backdrop
for the bursts of bold pink
that toss golden tips
careless into the air
here come the mellowing peach
patiently they all mix
until we are still blooming and growing
here we are with decades of rapturously spreading blooms
trailing without thought of pattern or care
up and down our stems
magically grown strong and straight inside ourselves
to hold us bravely into the sunlight and rain
fed by the years, the love, the care
that show us
Janice Eskridge 2014
(Note: This poem can be read both directions. It was written for a 70th birthday and is meant to show the joy of growing older from a person further along on the journey. I will be 72 tomorrow so am qualified to speak. )