Poets' Corner: Rosemerry For Xmas
Some of the seasonal cards I received this year – flinching as I say “I,” not “we” – came with synopses of the past year, most of them, as is the way of holiday notes, describing victories and achievements of the sender and family. I read them all as affirmations of success against challenges selectively left out – but which we all know are there. Who ever gets off free and clear? Unafraid to embrace her vulnerabilities, her loss, Wordwoman, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer (and I?) will endeavor to find moments of sunshine and remain grateful for the wonders, large and small, she has lived as she keeps on keeping on…
Read on and enjoy two of Rosemerry’s holiday poems. Promise, you will smell the gingerbread and come to believe in the baby miracles embedded in moments.
Meeting the Holidays
They mean well, of course,
the people who say things
such as, The holidays are hard.
And they’re right. Like not hanging
the blue stocking on the fireplace.
Like not needing to hide the red hots
because there is no one who will steal them.
But these moments are no more difficult
than a Tuesday. No more heartbreaking
than two weeks ago when
my son did not chastise me
for not clicking my heels
before I pulled my snowy feet into the car.
Firsts are hard, people say.
But, sometimes, I notice,
it’s the second that’s harder.
Or the third. Or it’s just all hard.
Or, miraculously, it’s not hard at all.
I am learning to translate
anything anyone says as,
I am holding your heart in mine.
I am learning to meet every day
as a holy day full of sacrifice,
grace and invitation. I am learning
grief is so different for each of us—
sometimes showing up as closed sign
at the door of the inn. Sometimes
showing up as an angel with a message
we can barely understand. Sometimes
showing up as a king with a strange
and fragrant gift reminiscent of sorrowing,
sighing—though it’s woody and warm,
and feels important, perhaps, even wondrous.
Watching My Daughter in the Nutcracker
Tonight I fall in love with the mirliton
in the blue and white tutu—the way
she leaps, the way she angles her arm.
Not that I didn’t love her before
when she was a soldier, when she
was a snowflake, when she was a bon bon
or an angel in frothy white fluff. But tonight,
more than anything, it is her smile
that makes me weep in row H.
Because it is real, her joy in the chassé,
the grande jeté, the pas de bourrée.
Because her joy is my joy. Because
I know what she’s danced through
to get to this stage where that smile
spreads across her face like the sunrise
the first morning after winter solstice—
an essential, growing light aware of the dark,
just learning what it can do.