Earthrise

Earthrise
Earthrise, December 1968, Image by Apollo 8

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

To Mothers Watching Offspring Part


In memory of Ruth Gilmore Ambrose
Athens, Georgia
August 20, 2013; revised December 20, 2014

It was the church bells 
from just past Five Points 
as late afternoons lingered 
on the cusp of evening, ringing 
family home in those happy years 

Till one by one we left.

But ah, to rise to distant cause,
discover wings of light and gauze 
like tiny Monarchs born to fall 
who feel the ache of far away, 
forsake the fields of yesterday 

To take the wind and open skies. 

It is an odd quintessence – 
the noble hyperbole, glorious lies 
and na├»ve dreams of youthful tribes 
that glide above the weathered  lives
of mothers watching offspring part 

As bells toll love and ancient loss. 

What comes of cocoons came 
over her heart as dusk by dark 
the shadows crept to Gospel 
chimes and childhood rhymes, 
the sweet debris of golden times 

In mommy’s world now left behind. 

Home turns refuge, safehouse, 
cell when trapped inside that cozy shell, 
but motherlove may self-transcend, new 
causes and callings now coursing within, 
a spirit soars to greet its dreams. 

Your love redeems the churchly bells.

Photograph by David Noah, Winterville, Georgia