Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rainbows with no end

grave at the family cemetary

Thirteen---It’s hard for her to comprehend
how one could die so young, ‘a shame’
she says as we stand over the stone & I know

walking a graveyard is an auspicious way
for a date to end, but I am setting precedent
for the next boy to come along and try to win
her hand--- (rewind)

Have her home at a good time,’ and I answer,
'Yes, sir,’ help her into the car & minutes later
we’re eating ice cream at a roadside stand,
without tables, we lean on a rail, her Cotton Candy
Explosion living up to its name, layer upon layer
of napkins wrapped round the cone become
a pink sticky mess as she tries to keep up,
when a light rain descends, not even  enough
to dampen our shirts, but leaves pearls glistening
in our hair & spins a rainbow,
which she says has no end ---like magic in moments
you can never manufacture

Gently, I take her hands in mine and press them in-
to the clay base where it kisses the potter’s wheel,
pressure form a cup, which I keep having to patch
in places she wears thin & when done, in a lopsided
kinda way, she claps sending clay in wet showers
across our shirts & we’re laughing—it’s just laundry,
unwilling to waste precious time getting upset

Returning home, we ride bikes to the graveyard
walk slow among the dead, talking about which
she might be related to---because that interests her
making it important to me, until back to the beginning
we stand before a girl who died at age

Thirteen---which, at eight, seems a long way off to her,
but young enough to shiver in its shadow
‘Uncle Brian, this is the best date I ever had,’
makes me smile, then, ‘well, It’s the only date
I ever had,’ we laugh again

Her small hand finding mine as a brown hair bunny
nibbles tall grass at the base of another head stone,
the sun painting everything orange---

And I tell her, 'Never accept anything less.'

written for Imperfect Prose

92 comments:

Pat Hatt said...

First
With my burst

Pat Hatt said...

Second too
Whoa hooo!

Pat Hatt said...

Third
All are slow and absurd

Joanna Jenkins said...

Wow, this was so lovely.... Your niece sounds like a lovely girl. This is a date I'm sure she will always remember and most guys she meets won't hold a candle to it... but that's a good standard to set at a young age.

Well done, jj

Pat Hatt said...

Such a nice uncle you are
Going near and far
And a sticky mess is eww
But that is what cotton candy will do
Biking down the trail
Finally back to where the dead hail
And so true
Anything less should not come due
And was I fourth now
I guess we will see when I hit publish is I can wow

Maggie May said...

It is lovely to take a young person on a *date* and see the pleasure it brings, especially from such a caring uncle.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

ayala said...

Love this... Your niece will always remember how special her Uncle Brian is :)

Bar None Publishing Group said...

Brian, you know that I am a fan of your poetry and "Rainbows with no end" is one of the better poems that I have read. Period.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

simply lovely

Hilary said...

I love this. I can feel her delight.. and yours. Every little girl should have an uncle like you.

Daniel said...

Very sweet. If I had a prize to award for chivalry and gentlemanlike mien, it would go to you my friend.

turtlememoir said...

this is so, so sweet, Brian. love rainbows without end - & maybe they all are, until we think otherwise... & maybe all children are born wise, but learn to be selective about showing it... :(

"it’s just laundry,
unwilling to waste precious time getting upset" - love that too

Gloria said...

Omy what lovely you are! Ah Brian i know you are a nice friend but really i would you live more close to talk; laugh and take an icecream:) lol

Susan said...

This is an "ahhhhhh" poem by the time we get to the bunny, if not sooner.
Discussion: What I like most is the "rewind" and "back to the beginning" structure, which allows you to frame the story with "setting precedent" and "never accept anything less." But "Have her home at a good time" and the sensual moment of the hand touching the clay at the wheel made me think you were her date, so I did not anticipate the 8yearold/Uncle relationship. Were there clues earlier? But I am confused! The rewind must have been all the way back to his own dates with his wife, the best of all growth of affection and interests and safety, that an Uncle could wish for a niece! It is a sweet date full of interest and laughter, And just like him, she will remember and not settle for less. What a multi-layered moment. I have to read you like Shakespeare. I hope I didn't say too much--if so, shorten this comment to the first line.

Claudia said...

that sounds like a lovely time the two of you had and i'm sure she will never forget - you set the bar high for the boys in her life and hope she remembers never to accept anything less..smiles

Colleen said...

Beautiful...makes me hope that she truly never accepts anything less than the respect and love she deserves.

Archna Sharma said...

I have to give back one of your 'smiles' for this one. I love the way it was told, completing a full-circle. And I love your date with her, the flavor and the rain and an endless rainbow.

"...magic in moments
you can never manufacture." How every child should be able to explore.

This story leaves so much hope for this little girl as she looks down at the other one who has lost her rainbow.

Nikki @ Simplystriving said...

Thank you, uncle brian. For showing her she's worth it. I hope she treasures it always...just like rainbows.

Barbara Rogers said...

Just lovely pictures painted throughout this poem. So glad you and niece enjoyed the pottery moment, and that there were bookends of the cemetery visit. Dates this comfortable need to be immortalized.

Marie Nicole said...

So cute. Great story. I'm so glad I read it. As usual...

Shaunie @ Up the Sunbeam said...

This is the kind of poetry I love! Beautifully written and beautifully lived! Your niece is blessed!

Beth said...

You have a beautiful heart, Brian. I love that you modeled for your niece how a man should treat her.

I think that just as you both shaped the clay at your feet, you are shaping her heart. Kudos to you for pointing to the right path!

janae said...

Beautiful storytelling, you always draw a delicate line to meander down. I love how I get a little bit lost and a little bit found inside your words.

Kath said...

what a great glimpse and what a kind uncle. like.

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Absolutely precious!

DJan said...

This made me cry, it's so poignant and beautiful. Awww, Brian, you did it again. :-)

Chantel said...

Too few invest the effort, energy and emotion into our young--teaching them to have great expectations...

This world has endless potential, and the heart is not a thing to squander.

May you (and she) reap what you've sown.

Daydreamertoo said...

Awwww... talk about melt our hearts.
I am stunned at all of the love and beauty in this, amazing write.
There is so much love, compassion, empathy. I would so want you for an uncle, father, brother etc etc. You gave the girl a day and 'date' she will forget and, I hope she will never accept anything less than the best, too. :)

farmlady said...

This is perfect and beautiful.
Thank you for sharing this amazing ability to write poetry.

RMP said...

you paint such a lovely picture...

I liked the opportunity it allowed--reading it the first time as though it might be two teenagers--reading it again picturing my own niece with her Jersey Shore ice cream (yes we really have an ice cream named Jersey Shore) dripping all over the place--the image completely transformed!

Kim said...

love love love this. beautiful words and a beautiful moment in time. thanks for capturing it for the rest of us.

Magpie said...

Jeezz, Brian, you're breaking my heart! That was lovely, truly lovely.

Ravenblack said...

Beautiful, just beautiful.

Matt said...

This is a great dedication, really moved me.

kaykuala said...

One occasion to remember. Visit that opens up awareness on good and bad at a young age. Great write Brian!

Hank

joanna said...

awww.... :) tender, this.

Me said...

*love*

e said...

You are a gifted writer and a wonderful Uncle, Brian.

Emily Wierenga said...

-like magic in moments
you can never manufacture

i love those organic moments when God makes everything perfect and suddenly it's not so hard to imagine heaven.

Jennifer Dougan said...

Wonderful. Good job, "Uncle Brian."

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Modern Day Disciple said...

You are like a real life Super Hero, Uncle Brian! Also to some of us bloggers! Managing to leap from one blog to the other in a single bound, slinging encouragement and comments , reading from one end of the internet to infinity...and beyond! Does he sleep? Yet he still manages to rub the wife's feet, between verses (pen in mouth?)! Very Impressive, Mr.Miller! ;)

Steve E said...

That 'next boy to come along and try to win her heart' is gonna have a tough row to hoe, you guaranteed that, Brian!

This is about the neatest date I've never imagined...
PEACE!

Gloria said...

I cry too and I come to read again!

suzannah | the smitten word said...

this is tender and lovely. beautiful, brian.

Alice Audrey said...

Oddly enough, I can actually see a date in a cemetery as a fun thing.

Dana Dampier said...

I believe this poem is my new favorite!

You are a superb uncle to one happy little girl who will remember that date forever.

MorningAJ said...

It's perfect Brian.

All 8-year-old girls should have a nice uncle who'll show them how they should be treated. Then maybe a few less would settle for some jerk who'll mistreat them.

I wish her the best for future dates and good sense in her final choice!

elizabeth said...

Lovely in every way.

Fred Rutherford said...

Really effective story telling Brian. Love the buildup, which would've been cool as it was, although would've left a different impression, but the ending reveal, really was cool to experience. Great read. thanks

Valerie said...

I feel emotional after reading Rainbows with no end ... what a lovely title and what an exceptional picture you painted. Good work, Brian.

my heart's love songs said...

you've set the bar mighty high indeed! wonderful for her future and a wonderful memory for you.

i adore "rainbows with no end" and your brilliant, passionate, ALIVE voice that speaks so elequently of life's moments, whether happy or sad or frightening.

LOVE your voice, brian!

Jenny Woolf said...

What a sweet thing for her, she must have felt so special.

Heaven said...

Love the story...great capture of the "date" specially the hands, and of course, the ending line ~ A great lesson to share with the young ~

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

How will she ever find the man that lives up to this first precious date! :) LOVE LOVE LOVE

Dave King said...

Superb - both the poem and the experience it recounts. Superb for that so lucky lady, for sure. Love the way you wrong-footed me by keeping back her age and revealing it at exactly the right time.

manicddaily said...

Yes-the story has a real sweetness to it, poignancy, not just in the graveyard, but the whole cadence- agree with Dave above. k.

Lorraine said...

so utterly charming Brian, you're the man, always

ps I'm brown bagging it, it's cheaper still, over 2,000...geesh

JANU said...

Just Wow!

Mary said...

"Dates" with eight-year-olds are the best yet! Enjoyed your poem, Good Uncle!

Sheila said...

Uncle. It's one of those specialty relationships ... less strictly defined than Mom or Dad.

This definition is a fine one.

tony said...

Beautiful.

Kateri said...

This is lovely.(Also makes me wish for the uncle I never had!)

lifeisaroadtrip said...

When I start one of your poems I never know how I am going to feel at the end. This one made me smile. Have a super Thursday!

Mom said...

You are a great Uncle. You gave your niece a special day that she won't forget...making memories...they will last forever. Read your post to her..you got another BIG smile :

Alyssa said...

i liked your poem about our date
i love you i had fun it was good bye

Lady Nyo said...

Wow...you have outdone yourself, Brian.

A totally lovely, compassionate, topical and beautiful poem.

You set a lovely standard here.

Lady Nyo

Misty said...

brian, you are such a wordsmith, and i love how this poem loops from the 13 and me wondering who you were on a date with and the whole potter's paragraph... no, wait, the cotton candy line, yes, that's my favorite. so evocative.

Sandra Heska King said...

Oh my goodness. This is so beautiful. And a lovely surprise ending.

Sue said...

Perfect.

And so tender.

=)

Chris Okelberry said...

Very sweet & endearing. Love it.

Reminds me that I need to take my 8-year-old daughter out for a date again...it's been a few months. :)

Alia Joy said...

Beautiful words. Every girl needs to see herself through the eyes of someone who really loves her. Such a blessing she feels it here first. Like muscle memory for her heart, it will all come back to her when she finds love.

LadyCat said...

So sweet! She will always remember this. When we have fun with the grankids my hubby always says "we're making memories".
You set the bar pretty high for the guys in her future.
That headstone has such character.

awakenedwords said...

excellent sir, in deed and word

Tara Miller said...

This is so sweet! I can see her smiling, bouncing and giggling with delight on your date. You're a good Uncle and I love you!

redemptionsbeauty said...

What a kind soul you are and such a wise uncle too. Someone left a comment on my blog and compared my storytelling ability to you, which I take as a huge compliment. Noticed a few people must have read that comment and checked you out too. You have such a wonderful ability to take the passed over moment and make it beautiful.

Dolly@Soulstops said...

What an excellent date, and standard you set for your niece for future dates...best to set one's standards high...Kudos to you, Brian :)

missing moments said...

An awesome uncle she has ... wonderful advice and words ...

Vicki Lane said...

So sweet -- and I hope she never does settle for less.

The Empress said...

I have really got to say, Brian, you tell a GOOD story.

Thank you.

Zuzana said...

This was very beautiful, in a gentle, innocent and still slightly melancholic way.
Love the last sentence, something to live by...;)
xoxo

Shanda said...

I wish I had had an uncle to show me how to expect the very best.

Goofball said...

oh she must have felt so special , being taken out on a date. She'll remember forever

Goofball said...

love the last statement! Powerful lesson you passed on in self-esteem

Myrna R. said...

I loved reading this. Wish all girls had such and uncle. Blessings to them all.

Nacole said...

beautiful, Brian. the pearls glistening in your hair, spinning rainbows? gorgeous--how do you come up with this stuff? i want to be like you when i grow up--~chuckle~. you are a real life storyteller. loved your sweet comment at my place--thank you so much--your time spent there and your encouragement is always so nice to see. blessings.

Megan Willome said...

I'm about to interview someone who lost a daughter at 13. Auspicious timing for Glynn to post your poem.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I LOVE this poem so much! It is sheer delight to read. Way cool, Uncle Brian!!!!!

SaraV said...

You had me going there Brian. And then for it to be such an exquisite poem of tenderness
Sweet

TexWisGirl said...

perfection. congrats on your POTW!

Tabor said...

Congrats on your POTW. Every single woman reading this post wishes she had an uncle like this or if she has a daughter, she wants her brother to be this! You set the bar pretty high, but we will try to reach it.

ds said...

Precious, absolutely without price. What a lovely lucky girl, what a lucky caring uncle. May her rainbows never end.
Can't believe I missed this the first time--congratulations on your POTW!
Happy Fourth.

Linda Wildenstein said...

perfection, every little girl should have an uncle brian. Oma Linda