maybe you will, or maybe you won’t set foot
in Pam or Emma’s way of living in silos,
on top of machine-rolled alfalfa or hay bales

and maybe you will or maybe you won’t be afraid
of locusts, until you hold a carcass and crush it,
–for death can’t hold onto the front elm tree

and maybe mothers & grandmothers take up elbow room,
but if you think you’re too good for them, then 
maybe there’s a tornado with your name written on it

and it ain’t fictitious: the locust, the silos,
the alfalfa baled like hay, the tornado teeth,
they’re real; but maybe some parts aren’t

and maybe for better reasons, and good reasons,
and for the knowledge of light for that dark year
held up for her fierce wrestling pin and hold

upstairs in the blue room, no one was knowing
everyone’s voices would become lavender maybe,
each one of us pushed to the ground for good


for Real Toads



    • Hmmm. Lavender flowers? Maybe. I once rented a room for a year with Laura Ashley bedding/furnishings, so maybe I have lived in a Laura Ashley room.

  1. I love this poem, Angie, especially the other-worldliness of a place that is so different to the world I know – as you say:
    ‘and you might never set foot in
    Pam or Emma’s way of living in silos,
    on top of rolled alfalfa or hay bales’.
    I like the idea of a tornado with my name on it and the lines:
    ‘but everyone’s voices are lavender now,
    and one of us is buried; real sweet and simple’.

    • hi kim, this poem sprung from me talking to my daughter about an incident i had with my mom growing up. a memorable moment, for sure, when mom pinned me down to the ground in 5th grade in an attempt to keep me from leaving the house to go somewhere she disapproved. strong-armed women? so, we talked about what i would do, what i have learned, etc. i wonder what my daughter will learn?

      • Poems that come from unexpected places, dreams, memories and conversations are usually special.

  2. The place occupied by these three? sisters, gone but in memory, fierce yet faded, indeterminate or at least undecided in the heart: “it’s the way each one came to do it, / or the way each came to do nothing at all”. There’s a certain honesty or fidelity to not making up one’s mind about the past, how to think about what happened and what to remember of it at all; reading this is like following that sweeping thought as it accepts and rejects, decides and wonders. A heart learning what it means to be full has to go through those motions, and its calibrations are etched in fairy notches. And so the blue room becomes lavender voices living and dead. Nicely done.

    • your read poems very well Brendan and bring up points to ponder. in this particular piece, it is a 3 generation female portrayal: a trickle-down effect of women’s voices.

    • thanks Shay. it’s the voice of the mothers that we constantly find ourselves responding to, isn’t it? so much so that our daughters, their daughters, and so on will continue to respond

  3. Honestly Angie, I didn’t get it at first, reading the comments left by others, i’m delighted by this memoir and especially luv these lines

    “because we cut sass as pastime a long time ago,
    resentments we also packed up for goodwill ”

    much love…

  4. The beginning of this poem worked really well for me. The set up and introduction to the characters and the shabby chic, rough and tumble. I also did like these lines:

    “and maybe you will or maybe you won’t be afraid
    of locusts, until you hold a carcass and crush it,”


    “definitely there’s a tornado with your name on it”

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. As for me, I might like to live in a silo, especially if it kept me out of the tornadoes’ teeth!

    Another extraordinary piece of writing, Angie.

  6. A little scary, Angie. You did well putting ‘your’ grandmother in a place like that. It reminded me of when I was in the Army pulling guard at a remote NIKE site out in the desert. I was all alone and was expected to sleep but the rats running along the exposed wall structure kept waking me up. I never got bitten though.

  7. this piece has a gentleness, and a clarity of emotion that feels like the color and scent of lavender ~

    • Mom does have a gentleness now; in direct opposition to her strong arm ways of the past (about which she is still a little too proud of. LOL)

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