Her first “I love you”

Photograph is from Pinterest which is from playfulcooking.com

tops of ancient trees gather

timeless within the weighted

breeze, they sing within a huddle

hovering like flour in crispy air

when buttermilk biscuit flour

tosses with her love and song

dancing like a last love affair

you do not know her bare bones

nipples sticking through thin threads

no money for a bra, boys tease her

laughter crawls beneath her tan

her tiny fingers bleed from cotton

picked at five am before she tied

shoes with rope to hold them on

her young sister, the first person

to tell her how she loved her

sixteen, Ruth on first date

killed in a car and never

did she warm mom’s feet

again, she would never hear

“I love you so much Esser”

she never could say, Esther

remembering them days of

flour serenading the air

like weightless tuffs of Ruth’s

golden-reddish hair

mom put some under

her pillow for praying over

even her own mother

didn’t get to see her buried

Ruth’s words hung in the air

like sparrows in a white ballet

I know my mom will be sad today

My Mother and I – a passport photo as I was born in Munich on a Military base – she looks so sad, it breaks my heart. I love you mom.

56 thoughts on “Her first “I love you”

    1. Nigel, I wrote a long response but I think I lost it. Thank you for your beautiful comment. We can and do still love the people who treat us badly very often. I am glad you enjoyed this Nigel, I have tremendous respect for your ability to write and am glad you are using it. Soon I hope we will settle to a routine and things can be more quiet and less work. I miss reading everyone’s work and Masticadores/Gobblers too. Sending you big hugs and love my friend. I am very grateful for your friendship. ❤️

    1. Thank you my dear friends. I hope you have a wonderful time and get some rest. Things must be crazy there for you now. You two I am sure deserve a rest. By the way congratulations on all the sales lately.

    1. Thank you my friend. I hope to be reading and being back on line much more very soon. We are still unpacking and settling into the house in VA but soon we should have most of the “nesting” done and I will have more time. Hope all is well with you and that life is being good to you Nancy. Sending my love and gratitude for your friendship. Big hugs coming you way too!❤️

    1. Dear Tim first if you get two comments it is because my computer is not showing that some of the comments are received. Thank you for reading and it is a very sad piece. I remember the day my mom told me this story, and she did not talk much to me about her very abusive father so if she was sober and felt like talking I took in every word. She had a miserable upbringing and her sister Ruth, the youngest, were very close. It broke my mother’s heart when she died. When we grow up hopefully we can not only forgive our parents for their mistakes but we still love them too. Her life was unbelievably hard and there really wasn’t a lot of help back then. I miss my mom Tim. Big hugs and love, Joni ❤️

      1. Thank you for asking Timothy. We really like it. It is smaller than our last house but just under 3.5 acres which is wonderful. The lightning bugs are everywhere and it is so silent. There are deer everywhere but I don’t hear the birds I use to hear. We will see if we can get some bird seed somewhere and hopefully that will encourage them to come. Everyone seems very welcoming and laid back here. It is a great place so far. We both like it. Sending our love, Joni

    1. Hello dear Tim. It is a sad story and I still think of how horrible that must have been for my mom who grew up in a very abusive home. I have completely forgiven her a long time ago and miss and love her like any child would. I think she was desperate just to be loved as a woman and to get out of her horrible home life. Thank you always for reading and you comments are a blessing. Big hugs, Joni

  1. This brilliant piece is haunting and incredibly moving, Joni. The imagery is startling and surreal, and the atmosphere is choked with sadness and despair. The entire piece feels like gasping for air in utter hopeless darkness. I take my hat off to you, my friend. This poem is beyond sublime–it’s on a completely different level. 🙂

    1. Dearest Mike your comment touched my heart so deeply. Thank you very much and I agree with you. My poor mom who had a miserably abusive home with a father who beat her terribly and bless her heart she never stood a chance. I am glad that I captured the essence of the sadness that my mother suffered. I appreciate your comment because I know it is difficult to read poem that are sad but I write about my life. The process of how Adult Alcoholic Children suffer. The ones that don’t become alcoholics themselves is a blessing and I was one of those. I am grateful that God made me allergic to beer and that every other kind of alcohol gives me a terrible migraine. I am blessed by your reading and commenting on my work because I feel exactly the same about your beautiful work. Big hugs and love, stay safe my friend. 🌹

  2. So beautifully heart-wrenching Joni…Such a sad hard life your mother lived and the loss of her younger sister, “I love you so much Esser” who was a bright moment in a life of hardship must have been intolerable for her… Love this part,
    “flour serenading the air

    like weightless tuffs of Ruth’s

    golden-reddish hair”

    Love how the sifting of the flour ties in with this poignant memory.
    Gorgeous writing Joni.

    1. Hello my dear friend I will write you soon and will be glad to catch up with you. It sounds like an excuse but money is difficult – especially emotionally for me. Everytime I moved as a child there are terrible memories associated with the more and more isolation. We are getting there with our move. I too, love those lines that you mentioned. I am grateful that my mom had her around to be loved and to give love to for sixteen years. We gave away much of our still very usable furniture to people that don’t have a lot of furniture and a family that was just starting out, a young couple. We gave our truck away – it was old but one of the men who took care of our Smart car and our truck for seventeen years had a son that needed something to knock awayed in and we gave that to him. So now we have to get a few things and I am very frugal. I have missed our conversations my friend, I love you Karima. 🌹❤️

  3. This is so very sad 😢 your mum lost her sister who would have been there for her in all the milestones and celebration in life. 💔😞💚💚

    1. It was very sad indeed. Thank you Cassa for reading and your comment. I have missed reading you as well. When she told me this story I found it very heartbreaking. You look so beautiful and happy in your emoji. Hope all is well for you my kind friend. Hugs and love, Joni 🌹🤗🤗🌹

  4. Your writing always pulls some heartstrings, Joni, so sad and real, thank you for sharing! I hope you and yours are doing well, all the best my friend! ❤🥰

    1. Hi Tiffany thank you so much for reading and you kind comment. It was wonderful to see that you were in a big show recently. We are doing well. We moved into a house in VA from NC and we are looking forward to getting all the boxes unpacked and for things to slow down. I have never really nested with my husband so that is kind of a unique experience and it is nice. We are blessed to have just under 3.5 acres and we are at the end of a road. The most excitement right now is when a vehicle goes by. I love it. Thank you for stopping by Tiffany. Sending you big hugs and lots of love my friend.

    1. It is hard not to be forgiving when someone who is the abused is abused by someone who had such a very sad life. You are right dear Anna. Sending you and the family my love and a big hug, Joni

      1. Hello my beautiful friend and fitness guru, I am doing well and I appreciate your asking. We are almost settle in our new house in Virginia. We have a couple more rooms to finish and then we will still have some boxes which we will probably store. I am discouraged by the 15 lbs I have still not been able to lose. I did the fasting for 18 hours without eating and then eating one big meal. Still didn’t lose the weight so I am going to see an endocrinologist, as I have only one gland instead of two. I have also read that when you are under a lot of stress a condition can arise where everything you eat goes straight to fat. Hope you are doing well, you look as gorgeous as ever. Sending you big hugs and love, Joni

      2. Joni so happy your love is going smooth!!!! I love Virginia, such a pretty place.
        Yes see a doctor to check everything and then rest rest rest and drink plenty of water. Also add weights to your lifestyle and most of all ENJOY LIFE! Eat, sleep, laugh, love hard and have fun💖

      3. You are such a beautiful sweetie! I love that Rx just until we finish everything up and get into a routine. At least I am back on line again for a few hours a day. Thank you so much it is great advice and I appreciate you! ❤️

      4. So beautiful and so sad. I would love to have a sister who I can connect with. Growing up in a narcissistic family, it is hard to form normal relationship, but I will extend my view to the wider world and look for real sisters everywhere.

      5. Yes, I was for some reason taken off the website where you always publish your poems. LOL. Anyway, love to reconnect with you.

      6. You are so very kind. I have just been posting elsewhere but a very wise man I know told me I need to get back on WordPress, so then I will be working more. We love Virginia so much and so many lovely animals on the front yard. I will look for you too. Big hugs, and love Joni

    1. Thank you so much Mich. I am so glad that you like it. I know these poems from the past are hard to write also but I feel uplifted afterwards. My mom would have approved of my writing about my childhood. She did encourage my writing. She would buy me poetry books when I was very young, like seven. She should her love in other ways she could not. Big hugs and love Mich from the both of us!

    1. Cindy I really appreciate this gracious comment. When I think of going through something like that it makes me very sad for my mom. Anyway thank you and I am pleased you liked it. Hugs, love and happiness 🌹🤗❤️

      1. It shows how much growth you’ve done to appreciate it after all you have been through.. Such a blessing. It’s my honor🎈💗❣️

      2. Cindy thank you for the very thoughtful comment. Yes, we have to grow otherwise we will repeat the same behavior. I worked hard with a therapist that specialized in working with ACOA when I was quite young. At the time there were not that many books out there but I read everything I could find and I practiced what I learned with my child. I am very proud of her, a successful VP who had a wonderful time in school, and a loving childhood filled with all the things I never got a chance to experience. So I did not go on to repeat that horrible cycle of abuse. Thank you for the gracious thought Cindy. Blessings to you and your obviously very happy and beautiful family! Love Joni

      3. Thank goodness for therapy, books and resilience. Oh that is such a wonderful lesson of love at the deepest level and breaking the cycle. Thank so very much, my friend💕

      4. Cindy you really are a kind woman who has many blessings and I am happy for you too. Yes, I was so grateful for all the books. Which at the time were maybe three but they did extremely well. However, I found two therapist who specialised in the area of ACOAs and that was a blessing. Thank you always Cindy for your kindest comments. Blessings also always to you and your beautiful family. Big hugs, and love Joni

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