Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Slice of Life - Memoir Poem


I love participating in Slice of Life, started by Two Writing Teachers and writing a story, reflection, or musing at least once a week.
Thank you Margaret Simon for encouraging us to link up poetry this month using the hashtag #digipoetry.  Also, thank you Leigh Anne Eck for creating a button for us to use.
     I said earlier this month that I was going to try out writing some memoir verse around photos or memorabilia since my class is immersed in a FAMILY/HOME unit right now and reading/writing memoirs in various formats (narrative, verse, graphic memoir).  This poem is inspired by a letter that my mom wrote on December 22nd, 1966, four days before I was born (I was due on Christmas day, but appeared a day late).   This letter was the only that I have (she recently gave me a bundle of letters she wrote to my grandparents during my first year) that she wrote before I was born.
Mom about 5 months pregnant with me in 1966
It was only days
until December 25th, 1966,
the day
I was supposed to be born.
Festive lights twinkled                                       
on Baker Avenue,
festooning apartments
in Cincinnati.
I was waited for,
dreamt about.
The nursery
was decorated
with a clown lamp,
and my mother imagined
2:00 am feedings with
its 25 watt bulb,
dim and peaceful.
A scotch pine stood watch                                           
in the balcony window,
and unfallen snow
weighed heavy in the
steel gray clouds,
for a white Christmas
and a baby
to arrive.


  1. Wow! These images took my breath away!! I read it three times in a row!!! Memoir poem? I love this idea!!! Thank you!

  2. Waiting, longing, anticipation, your poem is full of it. I feel it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Holly, Your poem reveals how very much you feel loved by your mother. And your photo reveals an adorable woman waiting with happiness. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Morning Holly,
    I love the clarity of the "25 watt bulb dim and peacful". It shows a woman who knows what is coming. Although I didn't do well with sleep deprivation, I loved those nights. Sitting in the chair with a warm, calm baby, rocking and looking at the changing trees through the window. It was a beautiful time! It sounds like you loved it too!

  5. Holly, your memories are illuminated in your poem. "I was waited for, anticipated" is what you are now doing for Libby's wedding. I can see a memoir poem ready to spring forth in the months to come. Thank you for the idea of writing a poem in the form of a memoir. (BTW, your Mom is stunning while she waited for her Christmas Holly.

  6. So many specific details give this poem its power. I love that it was developed from a letter your mother wrote.

  7. That's just lovely, Holly - as Michelle has noted, you've crafted powerful images.

  8. What a treasure! To read your mom's words from that time in her life and your life!
    What a beautiful poem you have written.

  9. What a wonderful poem. Such a great idea to use a piece of history for writing inspiration.