Lost and Found

Remember the day, the moment, the loss
Perplexing, annoyed, forlorn and cross

Locked out of life, transportation and gold
Keys to the world have clearly been sold

All that I cherish resides on a ring
That circle gives access to everything

Late summer drew nigh, I prepared to depart
Thirty years of a place that won over my heart

How could I misplace so important a treasure
In the chaos of packing and farewell pleasure

My search through trash cans high and low
Revealed nothing but remnants of junk let go

Pause for a moment to think and review
Each step I had taken the previous two

Days of forgetfulness and check-off notes
Hundreds of details to fill up my totes

No wonder my key ring was missing in action
When months of planning had been a faction

I needed those keys to my house, to my car
Without them I would never go very far

Keys to my storage unit, keys to my bank
Keys to a life that seemed suddenly dank

Lost forever they were, I began to assess
My options for moving ahead with this mess

Costly new car keys, remote control, too
LoJack to replace, so much to do

Buy a new storage lock, notify the teller
Make sure car keys are there for the seller

Thank heaven for duplicate keys all around
Searching my house for where they might be found

Three hundred more dollars to replace a car key
Seems way more than needed for befuddled old me

But cost me it did in both money and grief
As I abandoned my thoughts of a mischievous thief

Surely I was the culprit of this mystery distraction
Own up to my faults and egregious reaction

I set about fixing the damage I had done
Finding or buying keys one by one

Eighteen months passed by, a thousand lifetimes ago
Lost keys were forgotten in favor of snow

Then holidays arrived, an invitation to stay
At the home of my daughter not too far away

I leaped at the chance to wake up Christmas Day
So near to grandchildren who giggle and play

My bag packed in seconds, my car filled with toys
I tackled snowdrifts to join sweet girls and boys

When morning arrived, little footsteps awakened me
As grandchildren stood in awe of the Christmas tree

Quickly washed my face, brushed my hair and teeth
Grabbed my turquoise robe and shoes to warm my feet

Reached top of the stairs, eager to join family crew
Hands dropped into my pockets to hear a jingle or two

Fate intervened, my old robe revealed a prize
A metal circle of keys that belied my eyes

Lost …. then finally found myself, if I may
Puzzle solved at last on this Christmas Day

–Victoria Emmons, © img_07202016

Measuring Love

Fat, white flakes cover rooftops, fence lines
Rain upon sidewalks and parked cars
Plant themselves in mountains of cloud-like splendor
Snow painting a merry Christmas Day

Bright sky at midnight, enough reflection to guide Santa
And his reindeer to our home where children sleep
As grandmother lies eyes open and in wait
For laughter and expectation to fill the morning light

Check the empty plate for cookie crumbs
And leftover drops of milk, evidence of parental love
While children confirm today is the day, finally
Yes, dear Alex, Christmas has arrived

Presents bear his name, a word he can spell at three
His sister’s name, too, three letters he reads aloud
On a tag that hangs from a golden package
Wrapped with silver twine and sparkly stars

Help Zoe open her gifts, dear boy, you know how
She yet too young to rip paper and bows
He willing and eager to obey
Tears into each gift for baby sister

Delve into the unknown, discover what resides inside a box
Find out what hides within a heart, a soul
My decision to move, leave all that is known
Leave behind a life, a friend, a sunny world

The real gift is me, dear children, nearby you now
Far from the warmth of a California coastline
To the land of slips on the ice, long winters
Snow button in my car, four-wheel drive

The day after gifts revealed, wrapping paper gone
Two feet of snow to shovel from my deck
Under a clear, pink Boxing Day sky
Measuring love in twenty-four inches

–Victoria Emmons  © 2016

Flour

Flour’s in my candles
Wipe the kitchen down
Dusty piles of powder
Blowin’ all around

Ne’er thought I’d find all
That sifted, white ground
From drawer to floor
Floatin’ into mounds

But there it lived in
Every tiny crack
Chasin’ the day’s work
Breakin’ mama’s back

Pies and fresh pastries
Sweet raspberry tarts
Takes a lot of flour
And lots of false starts

Ain’t easy bakin’
Those cookies and cakes
Need a lil’ helper
For goodness sakes

Tie up his apron
Give him a good spoon
Young lad must learn
This cookin’ real soon

Flour goes a flyin’
Countertops to walls
Small fingers playin’
Makin’ castles tall

In between buildin’
Draw a shape or two
Learn to use a rollin’ pin
Pies for me and you

Smell the huckleberries
Picked right off the vine
Sprinkle ‘em with sugar
Add some brandy wine

Gentle with the crust, lad,
Crown must not fly high
Seal the edges now
Pinch, pinch, pinch the pie

Straight into the oven
Let’s all clap our hands
Flour rainin’ down
Formin’ mountains of sand

Forty minutes pass
Oven’s sweet perfume
Wafts throughout the house
Into every room

Timer wakes us all
Plates ready to go
The boy still plays
Apron fallin’ like snow

Thus my red candles
Got covered in white
Wouldn’t trade a speck
Of that wonderful sight!

–Victoria Emmons, copyright 2015

Valentine’s Day

Red is the color
of her nails
as she taps
the countertop at
Coffee, Tea & Me

Green is the color
of her envy
as she waits
watching the pair
kiss and smile sweetly

Black is the color
of her heart
as it beats
a hollow cavern
no more void of pride

Brown is the color
of her latte
as it steams
slathered in cream
wanting to be sipped

Pink is the color
of her palm
as it slaps
squarely upon his
happy bearded face

White is the color
of his fear
as it tells
his indiscretion
on Valentine’s Day

–Victoria Emmons, copyright 2015

Rhythms of Life on Foothill Road

From my house in the foothills, I can hear the Credence Clearwater Revisited Band jamming to the crowd. The sound floats out above the shopping centers and the speeding cars on the freeway, filling the length of Foothill Road. Every year in early summer, our town’s population swells to reflect the excitement of the County Fair. Businesses thrive and traffic is plentiful. And then, just as quickly as they arrived, fair goers and carnies all go home and summer continues its slow march into fall.

It reminds me of the moths that arrive at my front door every January. They appear just after New Year’s Day and flutter around my outdoor lights for two to three weeks. I have to open the door carefully or the winged creatures fly into my house. My cats often chase them around the living room. By the end of their visit, the moths just seem to disappear as quickly as they appeared. Where do they go?

Bats have their cycle, too. They descend in the dark of night, so are less obvious about making their nests under the shingles of my house. I can tell they’re back when their droppings become plentiful on my deck. They have lived there as long as I have. Well, probably longer. A friend suggested I relocate them to a bat house; but it doesn’t seem quite fair. They migrate annually and my place is just a summer cottage for them. Besides, they eat mosquitos and other pesky bugs. The bats and I made a truce long ago to peacefully coexist in our woodsy environment.

Like the moths and bats, the hikers have their patterns, too. In summer, they appear more frequently on that treacherous incline where I live. They huff and puff up the hill to reach the entrance to the Regional Park trails where they can enjoy the pleasure of nature at its best. Those who like real challenge ride mountain bikes up the steep hill and achieve the pleasure of a swift return going back downhill. The heartiest of hikers are there year round, but summer definitely swells the crowds.

Fair goers, moths, bats and hikers… all of them represent the rhythms of life on Foothill Road. It is what I love about living here.

Celebrate Mothers

Today we celebrate mothers. We celebrate all those fine women who have loved, given their all, planned, saved, and sacrificed so that children can have a happy life, no matter how long that life is. Some of us today will hug our children tightly. Some will text them or talk on FaceTime. Some will remember their children … remember the gift they were to us.

So for all the mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers and other people who served as mothers, as so many are often called upon to do, we celebrate you. It is through your kindness, love, caring and concern that children get a good start in life. And with a good start, with love and guidance, children become good mothers and fathers, too.

Happy Mother’s Day!