Tuesday, January 31, 2023

I wrote this poem in 2021
but did not take the photo.
As with most of my poetry,
I set it aside and just now
re-read it. I think it aged
well, but did it yellow as
it did so?

Yellow  by Sara J. Glerum

 it’s a noun

an adjective

an intransitive verb

when it’s painted on a bus

we know who’s inside

when it’s painted on a car

we know we could herald it

it’s uninvited like dandelions

and sour like lemon pucker

tasty like spread on warm bread

lends its fragrance to cheese

and radiates from sweet corn

it’s my favorite precious metal

and my long-gone teddy bear

and the gorgeous linen sundress

stained into ruin by breast milk

it’s the color of breast milk itself

it heralds spring with highlights

it beams through summer sun

it warns of coming autumn

and perks up winter drab

it’s my birth month’s flower

and a child’s crayoned stars

it can make people happy

except when it’s their teeth,

eyeballs or a tuxedo shirt

it can make a person sad

when it overtakes a book

or crinkles a long-saved letter

when our mother departed earth

we asked the florist to weave a pall

of roses in her favorite hue and

yellow became for us her daughters

the color of heartbreak

the color of devastation

the color of mourning

the color of memory

it’s rarely seen in gloomy paintings

except to make the dark seem darker

and on its own it bursts with joy

like angels shining forth

to quench our thirst for light


Sunday, January 15, 2023

A fresh look at a stale reality

An apple a day keeps the doctor away . . . a trite saying that is actually damn good advice. I eat apples often but because my teeth are old, began to dislike biting into them in the traditional way.

When I admired the clever device my son, Phil, had in his kitchen, I received one like it for Christmas several years ago. Thus I have eliminated biting through apple skin. Now I core the apple and immediately dispose of it, then slice it and eat it as finger food. Much easier and convenient, too.

A couple days ago I didn't see the corer in the drawer where it was supposed to be (yeah, that aspect of old age with its brain fuzzies), so I cut out the core with a knife. For fun--just because I was holding the knife--I cut it in half, then half again. And what to my wondering eyes did appear . . . but this beautiful star! 

Years ago when I taught preschool at our Catholic parish, using a new and beautiful program for three-, four-, and five-year-olds conceived by Bonnie Dreves (blog post from 9.13.14, Power of Small). One of the lessons in the nine-month curriculum, Wonder, helped four-year-olds discover hidden beauty in surprising places. Teachers halved strawberries to discover hearts and facilitated discovery of the stars inside apples in the same way for a strong visual component in the lesson. What a joy it was to see four-year-olds react to these small gifts. I'd all but forgotten about the star that resides inside every apple.

Seeing it fresh made me step back in gratitude and even a bit of wonder. Beauty can be found in the most unexpected places.