A Poetry Sporadical of Repeating Forms

On My Visit to My Mother’s Bedside, an Old School Friend
Takes Me Sledding with His Daughters

by Frances Ruhlen McConnel

White mountains, white sky,
     Red curls and brown snapping,
Girls with the wind go by,
     With the wind, clapping,

Red curls and brown snapping,
     He calls me his girl,
With the wind clapping
     And snowflakes aswirl.

He calls me his girl.
     I’ve lost my own dad.
In snowflakes’ wild swirl
     We go a bit mad.

I’ve lost my own dad.  
     But almost don’t care
That I’m just a bit mad.
     I’m here. I’m nowhere.

I almost don’t care
     Moving breakneck.
We’re here. We’re nowhere.
     Tears snow-lace each cheek.

Moving breakneck
     Passed their father’s eyes,
Tears snow-lace each cheek.
     He loves us. No surprise.

In their father’s eyes,
     We’re shivering: group-huddle.
We love him. No surprise.
     All else is a muddle.

Shivering: group-huddle,
     God bless the frozen zone!
All else is a muddle:
     Mom failing; kids back home.

God bless the frozen zone!
     While girls cavort,
Mom’s failing; back home
     Husband holding the fort.

While you cavort,
     Whose am I? I wonder.
Husband holding the fort
     The rhyme here’s “asunder.”

Whose am I? I wonder,
     Since exile comes after
(The rhyme’s still “asunder.”)
     Our pig-pile of laughter.

Exile comes after;
     Away with you west!
I’m charmed by your laughter,
     But here comes the rest.

Away with you west,
     Girls blown by the wind.
And here comes the rest:
     White sky, white mountain.

Frances Ruhlen McConnel has published two full length books: Gathering Light ( Pymallion Press) and The Direction of Longing, (Bellowing Ark Press); her chapbook White Birches, Black Water was published by the fine art press Bucket of Type Printery. She has taught in the Creative Writing Department at the University of California in Riverside where she often assigned poems in repetitive form.


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