Sunday, November 20, 2011


PHOTOGRAPH OF FLORENCE THOMPSON with three of her children by Dorthea Lange, 1936.  Reproduced from The Commons on Flickr with use restricted to personal, educational or research purposes.  Linked to Poetry Jam.


We'll picnic on the barren ground.
I have some bread, but
no sweet tonic
for your parched throat.

Angel at my side,
put the empty basket down,
here's the babe,

set her within.
Hello God,
here's another sacrifice.

Clouds of sand,
a sting to the eyes.

Let's find a tree
to guard us
from the regal sun.

The air dry as a bone,
twigs to play with,
nibbled clean by crunching ants.

Destiny runs its course,
surely means to bring fairness,
goodness to this day.

copyright/ all rights reserved/ 2011


Helen said...

Beautiful writing Lyn ... in researching the photographer I learned the story did not have a happy ending for this mother.

Lyn said...

Hi Helen-
One can well imagine this to be true..thank you for pointing this out...

dori said...

Ever hopeful, huh? All that dryness, yet... life still goes on. I can feel the dust of this one, Lynnie. Beautiful, as are all of your poems.

Lyn said...

Hi dori-
The heart of the dust does reach into us....thanks so much..and for the lovely words.

Brian Miller said...

wow you take us into that well...the sticks to play with gnawed clean by ants echoes the barren is another sacrifice is also an emotional line...

Lyn said...

Hi Brian-
That pic is the dust bowl to "Grapes of Wrath"...sometimes we have to force the spirit to win..thanks so much, Brian..

Maxwell Mead Williams Robinson Barry said...

This is deep and powerful.

Lyn said...

Hi Morning-
I too am always moved by that haunted face...thank you

Enchanted Oak said...

Powerful and spare. Its commanding tone poignant. Lovely. Thank you for this offering in this week's Poetry Jam.

Margaret said...

...waiting for destiny to change. Patience I bet she had in abundance. Wonderful imagination you have, even the sticks were picked clean...

Lyn said...

Hi Enchanted Oak-
Thank you..for me this is the eternal face of defeat and longing.

Lyn said...

Hi Margaret-
When all life is picked clean...thanks for your kind words...

Carrie Van Horn said...

So many amazing lines in this Lyn....a beautiful write for the prompt!! :-)


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