Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

Archive for the tag “child”

The Illustrated Child

Every now and then she breaks out
in tattoo ink.
Her body a shrine to what she holds dear.
Her children, music, even flowers remembered
from her grandmother’s garden – all imprinted
on her memory and on limbs and back.
It’s only rational that someone who wears
her heart on her sleeve
would not flinch at wearing her love
on her skin.

# 85

And the Dance Goes On

Leaves crunch underfoot.
Summer’s bones litter and drift
into the hollows.

Autumn’s ripe red scent
steeps the air cranberry rust
with a hint of loam.

She wears a golden
gown, rustling taffeta
with red petticoats.

Twitching up her skirts,
she swirls, flirts with the old man
who stands in the door.

He catches her hand,
joins her in the dance, icing
her pretty gold gown

as they waltz the night
and he draws her close to him
‘neath his snowy cloak.

Now they drift away,
fall into a restless sleep
and dream of a child

crying to wake up,
fretting for flowers and leaves
to twine in her hair.

Autumn gives her child
sunshine. Winter gives his child
a pure mountain stream

and he names her Spring
and knows that one day Summer
will woo her away.

Then they’ll call their child
Autumn, after her mother,
and the dance goes on.




Once, when you were a tiny infant
asleep on a pillow on my lap,
a spider wandered too close and I brushed it away.
I remember wishing I could always be there
to brush aside anything that might cause you harm.
You were young then and so was I.

But you grew and were not the coddling kind.
A rebel with a sense of humour,
a dreamer with a streak of realism,
as stubborn as the knots in your hair that we both
cried over as I wielded the brush.
I remember hoping life would not throw you anything
you couldn’t handle.
You were older then and so was I.

As a woman, you discovered the world I’d been living in
and the revelation brought us closer together.
Promoted to mother, you began to see things
through the same lens.
And you shone. And you shine.
And I know that no brushing aside of life’s troubles
could have taught you how to be who you are now.
This you learned on your own.
We are older now, and perhaps a little wiser.

Happy birthday, darling daughter.


How to Transplant a Flower – or – How a Child is Like a Flower

Know where you’re going.
Make sure there is a soft and comforting bed
with all the flower needs to thrive at hand.

Work quickly.
The limbo between old home and new home
is a dangerous place and flowers wilt easily.

Sever as few roots as possible.
Flowers need roots to grow, severing too many
will stunt them and make them terribly sad.

Avoid high winds and blazing sun.
Tender little roots will shrivel under the onslaught
of nature’s volatile moods. Choose a cool, soft day.

Transplant into a nourishing environment.
Soft soil to dig their wee toes in, rain puddles,
sunshine; these are the things a flower needs.

It’s maintenance from there on.
A flower depends upon you for protection from weeds,
and pests, and unkind hands that pluck pretty flowers.

Be prepared to train the flower in how it should grow
with a loving hand, prune away the bad stuff,
provide frameworks for them to climb upon.

That’s how you transplant a flower.



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