Do not set foot
into a black limousine.
A ride through empty streets
makes the dream real.
No pretend toe tag,
coroner’s signature required.
Son rescues a wedding ring
from a burial far too deep.
Well-placed calls to
sisters, brothers and daughters.
Search for an American flag
to drape across a wooden coffin.
Images of sixty-some years
pasted to a display board
filled with silly grins
at milestone occasions.
Give me a handkerchief,
please. Be there for me,
you, a witness to
love, family, legacy.
Write your name in a book
to remember celebrants
for a friend, father, grandpa,
brother, husband, lover.
Shoe pinches my toe
with each step toward
sympathetic arms outstretched,
pinches my heart.
If the shoe hurts
I don’t have to wear it.
Allow me, dear Lord,
to live with cold feet.
—Victoria Emmons, © 2017
Challenges, death, Family, Friends, funeral, Grief, life, Loss, Love, Memories, Musings, Poetry, Relationships, Thoughts, Writing
death, family, grief, life
Mar · 09
Cup without a saucer
First name without a last
Activist without a handmade sign
Monkey without a banana to eat
Home without a state
State without a name
Hand without a finger
Nowhere is home
No place is mine
Where a heart resides in peace
Accepted by rulers
who prey upon strangers
and do not tolerate salt
—Victoria Emmons, © 2018
acceptance, Addiction, Amour, Challenges, Hate, Hope, life, Lonely, Love, Musings, Poetry, Relationships, Thoughts, Tolerance, USA, Writing
acceptance, couples, life, love, relationships, Tolerance
Feb · 18
A missing appendage
Makes it hard to type
Close a button
Pick up a dime
The departed pointer finger
Lost to a sharp buzz saw
Building hearth and home
To keep a family safe
Lost, but found, the finger tip
Still feels, still grows its own claw
Offers refuge for gnawing concerns
That cloud a hectic day
Gone, but not forgotten,
Memories reside in time
Within an absent piece of flesh
Imagined to be whole
Finger the missing edge
Feel it, love it, massage
Its invisible core
Until it reappears
Make it whole again
Make yourself whole
Resume your heartbeat
–Victoria Emmons, copyright, 2017
achievement, Challenges, Loss, Musings, Persistence, poems, Poetry, Relationships, Thoughts, Time, Tolerance
advice, appendage, challenges, finger, grief, loss, poem
Oct · 06
Weep not for me, sweet redbud tree,
Thy leaves will take no chances
Each heart resides most playfully
Upon thy silken branches
Dangling in the wind they sing
Hearts ready for damnation
Search for love against the wind
And hope for procreation
Young ones be the shiniest
Deep ruby red reaction
Thus what creature dare resist
So lovely an attraction
Seeds strewn about with local help
Assures that love will grow
New heart-shaped leaves thus soon to sprout
Come melting winter snow
Wouldst that my own heart sing so loud
And dance to its own tune
While suitors called upon my door
In light of harvest moon
These ruby lips await the kiss
That stirs my dormant soul
Much as the weeping redbud waits
‘Til she achieves her goal
Be patient, she advises me,
Love grows at its own pace
The kindest words, a gentle touch
That make a red heart race
When redbud leaves remain too long
Their red begins to fade
In favor of a dulling green
That hides beneath the shade
Younger leaves retake the stage
Flash colors in the sun
As older ones accept their place
Their usefulness now done
Yet hidden behind a shady branch
Old lovers rekindle a flame
Dull green, a few new dents perhaps,
Still loving all the same
–Victoria Emmons, 2017
While visiting friends in North Carolina, I discovered a Weeping Redbud tree in the yard. The tree’s red, perfectly heart-shaped leaves fascinated me. Then I noticed the older leaves were solid green, having lost their brilliant, red color. It reminded me of the joy of finding love.
Age, Aging, Amour, Challenges, Destiny, Happiness, Heartbreak, Hope, Lonely, Love, Love, Musings, Poetry, Relationships, Thoughts
aging, hope, love
Aug · 15
Stumble on stones
that speak to my feet
seven centuries past
Too long ago to recall
A love gone by.
Sky aided by clouds
darkened in an instant
to cool a steamy day,
raindrops and thunder
fluffed into marshmallow
dreams by midday.
Your gifts linger, a
72-hour metro ticket
takes me on a red train
to green line, then
yellow line to find Zlicin
through the park to Zitna.
A hot day adorns
your head, along with
a baseball cap to keep
the sun away, a
gift for a weary traveler.
Franz Kafka, Adolf Born,
blond Chrystina in an Alfa Romeo
points out the world’s largest
castle, streets below
teeming with selfies and
a car that attracts attention.
Czech list of things to do,
dancing house beckons
as bridge traffic lessens on
way-finding maps to
a jazz club of singers,
drums, and saxophone tunes.
A kiss on the hand, a wave
goodbye from one train to another
as I dine alone next to
Charles Bridge, me and
my glass of red Bourguignon
from France, no Czech beer.
Laughter of child’s play
on monkey bars at a nearby park
makes music for my single dinner,
void of smiling Irish eyes,
no direction to
my last evening in Prague.
Lost in colors, I search
for the yellow ice cream cone
to lead me out of the
Namesti maze toward the Vystad
where I will drift
back to normalcy, if I can.
copyright 2017, Prague, CZ
Amour, Gifts, Happiness, kindness, Kiss, life, Love, Musings, poems, Prague, Relationships, Travel
jazz, life, love, metro, poems, Prague, relationships, travel
Aug · 10
I feel the warmth of your arms surround me
as years wash away, a long moment of grief
expressed in a hug too tight for a child,
a man without a father.
History powerful enough to tear down
walls of time belies reason.
A sepia photograph reminds of
bygone youth, shared play,
picnics at the zoo.
Sadness and joy clash on this day,
memories well up in your eyes and mine.
Tales to tell, remembrances, laughter and love.
Shrimp, crayfish and oysters
on the table before us.
Thundering rain upon heavy limbs
laden with green resurrection ferns.
A damp night of conversation and thoughtful
stories, but no campfire.
Spring awaits summer, hot and sticky,
sweat follows the length of your temples,
beads on your forehead.
Love beats in your heart.
Family swells in your mind.
A homecoming of sorts, we gather to mourn,
remark the change in lines on our faces,
spill our absent lives into one another’s.
Four score years should not pass
before shared warmth.
Believing the other will always exist,
somewhere in the annals of our history,
part of the natural order of our universe,
a comfort zone to our souls,
does not make it so.
Create a pact, dear ones.
Share more of life in
years to come.
Let’s not wait for
the next family funeral.
—Victoria Emmons, May 2017
Aging, Cousins, death, Family, Father, Grief, Home, Loss, Love, Memories, Musings, Pain, Poetry, Relationships, Reunion
Cousins, death, family, love
May · 31
Soft sounds count each breath with
clarity, mindfulness and motion.
Every swell erupts into hope, rises and falls
in fullness, leaving joy as a postscript.
Breathe in to fill three-quarters,
that which is left of a lung, a section
disappeared one sunny morning, a favorite
corner rendered useless by a scalpel.
Pushing air out even harder,
pain shoots down the spine,
suffocates the rib cage and the heart.
But the heart still loves, still smiles.
Life breathes in three-quarter beats,
arouses a heart to sing, a soul to pray,
a mind to dream. Invites love to play
under a delicious full moon.
Count the breaths. One. One-half.
How many birthdays, he asks.
Grandma, that’s a lot of birthdays.
A lot more to come, you say.
Smell a future filled with fresh air,
even in three-quarter beat. Hear the
sound of laughter, the voice of strength
residing in a cage meant to be opened.
Make songs with every breath when
air and music wed as one. Sing for
respite. Sing for hope. Sing for life,
notes attaching to the summer wind.
–Victoria Emmons, May 2017
Birthdays, Challenges, Destiny, Hope, illness, kindness, life, Loss, Love, Musings, Pain, Persistence, poems, Poetry, Relationships, Time, Wedding, Writing
Happiness, iIlness, joy, kindness, love, poems, recovery, strength
May · 20
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
to a better life.
–Victoria Emmons, 2017
Dedicated to all the mothers
who had to give up their children.
Babies, Birth, Challenges, Children, Daughter, Destiny, Family, Grief, Heartbreak, kids, life, Loss, Love, Love, Memories, Mother, Musings, Pain, poems, Poetry, Relationships, Secrets, Son
adoption, babies, challenges, children, grief, infants, kids, loss, mother, orphans
May · 16
In fifteen minutes you and I will turn thirty.
That long ago, so much time vanished.
Fifteen minutes disappearing like thirty years.
At midnight, all those years will have passed.
That day we met, we cued up for good reason.
A boat too full let us laugh together instead,
share a beer at the hotel bar,
become friends and lovers for life.
Ten minutes remain until thirty years arrive.
We can soon celebrate a milestone,
worth a bottle of your best champagne.
Bubbles make me laugh. So do you.
I hear your laughter ring in my head. Yet
how heavy it seems. I carry that laughter with me.
Its joy and its burden. A love that will not end.
A memory that will not cease to exist.
Five more minutes and our thirty-year anniversary
becomes real. Aunt Wilma said thirties were the
best years. Best for everything. Her wisdom stays
with me. But after thirty years, a void appears.
Not the same without you, my love, despite the hour.
Remember our anniversary, my calendar tells me.
It is now done. Check you off my to-do list.
I remembered. No one else did.
–Victoria Emmons, 16 May 2017
Amour, Anniversary, Grief, life, Loss, Love, Love, Loyalty, Marriage, Memories, Musings, poems, Poetry, Relationships, Writing, Writing
Amour, Anniversary, grief, life, loss, love, loyalty, marriage, relationships
May · 16
So simple the design of a drawer,
pull and push, search for something lost,
a ribbon, a jar of ground cloves,
zebra-striped pasta long and narrow,
a green marbled heart meant to
give away, but kept.
Drawers contain books to read, journals
to write, secrets to hide or discover,
an entire family history stored for
at least a decade or more waiting
to hand down to the next generation.
The empty one my least favorite, second drawer
of the tall dresser, the one he used to fill
with socks. Now barren, the drawer’s
cedar wood frame houses a familiar scent
that lingers so I won’t forget.
–Victoria Emmons, 2017
Amour, death, Drawers, Grief, life, Love, Marriage, Memories, Musings, Pain, poems, Poetry, Relationships, Secrets
Drawers, grief, life, love, memories, poetry
Apr · 20