Poetry Friday September 20, 2019

Poetry Friday is hosted today by retired teacher, poet, and volunteer coordinator at a local used bookstore, Linda Bai at TeacherDance. Today she is showing off Dictionary for a Better World - Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z, an exciting new book by Irene Latham and Charles Waters with illustrations by Mehrdokht Amini. Go over there and read about it. Don't forget to check out the links to other participants sharing poetry today.

Just a reminder that Carol Varsalona and I have switched hosting dates. Carol will be hosting September 27, 2019 at Beyond LiteracyLink, and I will take on her date, October 4, 2019, here at Library Matters.

In 1958, I was five when my family joined other relatives on a logging and homesteading adventure into the Pine River region of Northern British Columbia.
I'm committed to sharing a bit every week so that I don't give up. (with time out for camping and canning of course) I appreciate feedback on the construction of the poetry and ideas and questions about what information might be missing. 

I am almost done. This one here is long. I am sure that by the time I am done it will end up being a number of poems. 


understanding the
somber significance
of Uncle Wilf’s
afternoon visit,
dropped in,
wept with my mother,
and offered comfort
with action

supplied supper
and breakfast
minded the baby and kids
helped pack up essentials


Mary and Adam Weichel,
my paternal grandparents,
drove through the night,
arrived early the next morning
in their Nash Statesman

Uncle Cliff,
one of Daddy’s little brother’s
just sixteen
with a brand new driver’s license
arrived with them
to drive us and our rambler south

trimmed down to
everything and everybody
was packed into the two vehicles

barely four months
after our arrival,
we began the journey
back the way we had come


Mother Nature offered
what comfort she could

ghost white landscapes
monitored our departure

evergreens shrouded in snow
and bare branched aspens
solemnly guided and guarded
our procession south

storm clouds parted
left sanded dirt roads
temporarily alone

sunshine blessed us
as best it could
Lord knows,
     we had rain enough
     inside us


at Clinton, we overnighted
with Peggy and Maurice

Gramma and Grampa 
took no break,
continued on southwest
towards Vancouver,
towards Daddy,

still hanging on.


early the next day
Uncle Cliff returned us 
to our home town

Mommy dropped us off
with Aunty Dorothy and Uncle Bob
kept Timmy, who was still nursing,

Her folks, 
Isobel and Walter
drove them west
towards Vancouver,
towards Daddy,

in critical condition,

but still alive.

Here are links to previous poems in this collection.

Ready and Willing
Diaper Duty
Skunk Trouble
Bath Time
Time For Fun
First Snow

Miserable Physics

Difficult Decision


  1. Yes, I can see you dividing this into multiple poems. "evergreens shrouded in snow
    and bare branched aspens/solemnly guided and guarded/our procession south" is really lovely. Also "we had rain enough/inside us." I'm glad your grandparents could both help.

  2. What a journey, of sadness and hope, too, Cheriee. I also marked "we had rain enough
    inside us", a powerful image along with your descriptions of the landscape. This is going to become a marvelous poetic memoir!

  3. The emotion comes through and makes my heart break. I am going back to read the poems I missed. I agree with Linda, it is going to be a beautiful memoir!

  4. I continue to hang on every word, Cheriee, but I admit this one had me a bit baffled: something is wrong, is everyone going back for good?, it's Daddy but what happened? So many names and relationships clouded the main event a bit. And yet as always the emotion comes through powerfully.

    1. Thanks Heidi - this poem will be part of a 'chapter' that begins with my father's accident. You can read it here: https://dickenslibrary.blogspot.com/2019/08/poetry-friday-august-30th-2019.html (although I have edited it a lot since then)

  5. The stanza starting with Mother Nature was beautifully described right down to the last image, "we had rain enough
    inside us". Cheriee, the uncertainty of what is to come is evident as is the sadness.

  6. Cheriee, thank you so much for sharing your in-progress poems. Thanks for the link back to the poem about your father's accident. You say you've revised it a lot. It would be interesting to see the two versions together with some discussion of your changes. It's all so fascinating -- both process and product!

  7. You've captured me in this roller-coaster event pulling at our hearts–I agree it would make a wonderful poetic memoir, thanks!