The First Time

The first time
I saw my own eyes
staring out from
behind your sweet face,
a mirror of self-love
unencumbered by years
of doubt, sweat, tears.

That first time,
the only time
I saw you
before she took
you away
to a better life.

–Victoria Emmons, 2017

Dedicated to all the mothers 
who had to give up their children.

Real Estate

The owners seemed happy
With their new abode, a comfortable
Second floor room with a spectacular view.

It had been lived in, to be sure,
Yet they didn’t seem to mind its
Lack of newness or the scent of another.

The place became their own, each
Adding his or her special feature to create
A home worthy for their children.

On most days, the morning sun peeked
Sideways into the room they shared,
Huddled as though they were once homeless.

He flew out early for work on Tuesday,
Leaving her behind to tend the family
They both awaited with anticipation.

Before he returned, she knew
It was time. Each newborn arrived, as
Expected, all wet and wondrous.

Eager to tell him, she called out
And called again, to no avail, his
Response never heard nor sung.

To her surprise, a sudden great flood
Began to rise around the walls, encasing
The room where the children slept.

She screamed and begged for mercy
To a God she did not know, and fluttered
Aimlessly trying to protect those she loved.

The masked man saw her frightful motions,
Watched her flying in and out in fear,
Hoping someone would spare her family.

Don’t knock that one down, said the man to
His partner as they pressure washed the walls,
She has babies in that nest, babies who need to fly.

–Victoria Emmons, Copyright 2015

A Mother’s Tale

Blocks in my shoes
Towels about the room
Cows moo, pigs oink
A farmer sings a tune

A smile and then a laugh
A boo-boo on your chin
All part of growing up
A phase you’re living in

Awakening at dawn
Greet a brand new day
Bananas and some Cheerios
And then a round of play

Before your little body
Tuckers out for the morn
Despite all your objections
Sleep before you’re worn

The day renews itself again
More snow, a brand new face
Just in time to search and find
A few good cats to chase

Discover slides and rolling things
Or even steps to climb
The local spot for little kids
Gives all some fun play time

Or take a spin upon a horse
A very different kind
Encircles merry songs
And a golden ring to find

Sleepy baby, your eyes do nod
So much to see and learn
A million miles in your young life
For knowledge do you yearn

Inquiring mind you have, my love
The cabinets are your prey
To open doors for bowls inside
As instruments to play

A string quartet, perhaps,
A drum or two in time
Your rhythmic beat upon the floor
Reminds me that you’re mine

And now the day grows dark, sweet boy
The time for bath is nigh
As music lulls you fast asleep
Night hugs you by and by

–Victoria Emmons, © 2014

Same. Same. Same.

Polka dot dresses
Pink bows
In our hair
My baby
And me
What shall we wear?

Same. Same. Same, Mommy
We are the same.

Frilly blue gowns
Frizzy red hair
My little girl
And me
What shall we wear?

Same. Same. Same, Mommy
We are the same.

Black mascara
Bandanas to share
My young lass
And me
What shall we wear?

Same. Same. Same, Mommy
We are the same.

Long, white veil
Everyone stares
Pretty bride
And me
What shall we wear?

Same. Same. Same, Mommy
We are the same.

Wrinkly, brown skin
Curly, black hair
Your baby
And you
What shall you wear?

Same. Same. Same, Mommy
We are the same.

— Victoria Emmons ©2013


Paula had warned me they were there. I had my doubts. It had been 15 years since I moved into my house and I had never seen one. She was certain they were hiding out there somewhere. I just hadn’t found any yet. Today was the day.

I was washing the brick barbecue area in my back yard. The sink next to the gas grill was filled with dry, crinkled leaves that were clogging up the drain. It is nearly autumn and my oak trees have begun to discard more of their leaves and twigs. I reached in and pulled out a handful of the debris that had filled the sink. And there they were hiding under the mulch….two medium-sized scorpions each with their claws extended. I had been cleaning this sink with my bare hands. I took a step backward in disbelief. I knew I could not wash the creatures down the drain. I searched for a sturdy twig on the ground, picked it up and began my task. The pair had to be destroyed.

The larger one, the female, was slower since she was carrying her future children. She went first. As she died, she deposited her eggs, a final effort to assure her progeny survived. I felt like a beast. The smaller of the two, the male, fought hard. Even when I thought he was gone, after my sword had crushed his body, his wiggling claws demonstrated his vitality.

I was still uncomfortable about my own safety. I knew a scorpion bite could be very painful and even deadly. Only 30 of the 1,500 species of scorpion can inflict potentially fatal stings. But which 30, I asked? I didn’t have time to look that up before I dealt with these two scorpions that had taken up residence.

Despite the huge variance in our sizes, the scorpions and I battled until the end. The eggs were washed down the drain to their own fate. I snagged the scorpion bodies with my twig and moved them up onto the brick countertop. I needed to reassure myself that they had been properly exterminated. And then I saw a third. He had escaped my sight earlier, hiding along with a medium-sized black spider under the mass of gunk in my sink. This one seemed to move slower than the other two. Yet he was equally as difficult to destroy. All three of the scorpions living in my sink were unaware that today was D-Day. The spider was set free.

—Victoria Emmons, © August 31, 2014


Purple urchins tossed
Into seaweed mountains
Crushed by a wave

Sandy coins washed
Ashore under driftwood
Sculpted by the sea

Shards of blue porcelain
Chiseled over time
Piled by change

Castles of sea foam
Dance in ocean meadows
Vanquished by wind

Nature unleashed
Through powers unknown
So who sculpted me?

–Victoria Emmons, © 2014