Saturday, April 18, 2009

NaPoWriMo #17

Missing Mrs. Gavin

Last week Mrs. Gavin moved. I felt uprooted by
her leaving. She had been Drakewood's historian,
35801's unofficial senior R.A., our resident gardner
and welcoming committee of one.

Mrs. Gavin said after her surgery she never felt
quite like herself again. It was if she woke up
and suddenly she was old.

She never said how old, but if you listened to her stories
about her life and about the complex, you knew
Mrs. Gavin had lived many seasons.

More than thirty years ago, she had planted a tree
behind our building. The last few years, it looked
ill; it was no longer thriving.

Still, we had the best grounds, thanks to her.
Every year she planted, weeded and cared
for her garden. With the passing seasons,
Mrs. Gavin had grown on me.

Seeing her come and go, working in the yard,
talking with her before church or listening to her
explain at length what needed to be fixed
had become part of what made home home.

Mrs. Gavin had become my surrogate grandmother.
Her inquiries and her kind exchanges enriched
my daily routine. Her leaving was like plucking
a piece from a completed puzzled.

Who will I take cards and cookies
to at Christmas time now?
Who will make sure our garden grows?

Prompt at readwritepoem: Instead of “missing someone/something,” maybe you’d like to write about “something missing.” My neighbor really did move and I miss her. She's not too far and I plan to visit her. In between visits, I look forward to working on revisions. I'd like to share a finished draft with her. Before leaving, she told me how old she is, but I won't be sharing that here. :-)

Also participating in Poetry Friday. Find more reads here.


Anonymous said...

Not rough at all. You've really captured something here.

Mary Lee said...

"Uprooted" is a good image to go with all of the rest of the gardening in your poem. Glad to hear you will keep visiting her. Seems like maybe you are one of her sprouts. She'll enjoy watching you grow, too!

Lisa Chellman said...

With the passing seasons,
Mrs. Gavin had grown on me.
This made me smile. I love the organic figures of speech twining throughout the poem. Mrs. Gavin must have been a very special person.

susan said...

Mrs. Gavin is something. She would kindly tell tenets not to park in her unmarked parking space. She'd let you know when maintenance was coming to plow the snow, "So please move your car early in the morning."
She put a canister out for cigarette buts. If a light went out, a door got stuck, we didn't wait long because she was sure to contact maintenance and she'd remind them until the work was done.

susan said...

Mary and Lisa, thank you for the feedback. I'll keep them in mind while revising. There was so many places my mind was going. Appreciate you helping me ground this.

Thanks, Carol.