Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Grandmother's View

farm girl 

a wall-sized picture window played the view 
of geraniums in a large brick planter box in 
her back yard.  

a few feet beyond, slender trees dressed from 
tip-top to trunk danced under hot Texas sunshine.
further up to, and along the horizon of farmland - 
flat, treeless, and pregnant with crops - the sound 
of wind played telephone wires on highway violins. 

she sat straight-backed, rigid on her sofa and watched
this mosaic of her life, of every life that passed her 
window through decades of birthings.  

she sat alone, memories her only fading friends, 
their voices muffled, muddled and vying for 
attention - no - screaming for recognition in 
waning light of autumn.  

she knew her children, grandchildren, and 
great-grandchildren would remember - 

remember if even her own recollections 
scattered on prairie dust along ancient, 
ever changing highways, as those trees
undressed under heaven for a lingering, 
dreamless sleep. 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker
Photo of Ina Wilkins Stovall taken about 1922, photographer unknown.  The photographer who took this photo of my grandmother may have been my great-grandfather, Robert J. Stovall who was an avid photographer in the early 20th century.  This scene was painted on canvas by my aunt Ina Jean Stovall Garner in 1972.  That will be another story!  


  1. what a prompt that photo would much story in it....
    I love it
    and the poem that goes with it...
    ah our mothers and grandmothers
    what they have lived and seen

  2. I love your poem about your grandmother. This photo of her reminds me of one of my mother back in those days. There never seemed to be grass growing in yards. I wonder when people in the south started having grassy yards... it must have been after World War II when families were newly made and homes built that appearance of yards became important.