Friday, November 28, 2008

The Changing of the Guard - Nesdoly

Aunt Lois, Mom, Aunt Hilda - April 2004

At the beginning of 2006 our family still had four matriarchs – four sisters-in-law who had outlived four brothers, their husbands. Here are three of them, taken at my mom's 90th birthday party in 2004

Then they began slipping away. Aunt Martha died in March of 2006, my mom in June of that year, Aunt Lois in August. The last of them, Aunt Hilda, died a week ago today, eleven days after her 99th birthday.

Suddenly we're it – the oldest generation. It's a sobering thought.

Changing of the Guard

Lately the old mothers
have been slipping from their places
falling, dying
vacating strategic positions
leaving gaps
in the front line

A new generation
of matriarchs is needed
to organize the family dinners
the baby showers and the anniversaries
to send the birthday cheques

There's a call for fresh recruits
a newly commissioned troop
of kneeling warriors
arms raised in petition and praise
blessing the infants and the in-laws
interceding for the prodigals
alert watch-women
guarding the walls of the family

© 2007 - V. Nesdoly

Check out my monthly poetry column, "Poet's Classroom".

I blog about writerly topics at Line upon line, personal stuff at promptings, and daily devotions for kids at Bible Drive-Thru.


Marilyn said...

I liked this post and poem very much. Read the whole thing twice! It renders a surreal feeling, the recognition of the guard changing. You captured it well.

violet said...

Thank you, Marilyn!

We attended Auntie's memorial service yesterday and came away with a bigger realization than ever that we have HUGE boots to fill.

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