Category: Poems Of Remembrance

Trumpet Vines and Time

how the
trumpet vines
grew on the wall
of my mother’s home
glorious
like her faith
her unconditional love
when God said
“It’s time…”

August 11, 2010

This poem was published
in Bell’s Letters 135, February 2011.

Ellen Grace Olinger

Two Poems

to the store
on old beloved roads
light and wind
through fields of corn
birds fly together

(2013)

so many years
since my father
lived on this earth

yet when I was
in town again
this summer

even with so much
change

I thought

he would still
know his way
home

(2016)

Ellen Grace Olinger

Poems For My Father

love for you
became her care
until she joined you there
grief gives way to fields and wind
and now I hear your voice again

(Published in Bell’s Letters.)

*

rain in dark night
refreshes each leaf
today I think of you
no longer with grief

*

I posted my Christmas poem for my father again in December 2017:

A Poem For You (1991).

*

In loving memory, for Harold A. Borgh (1915 – 1983).  My father taught history at Wauwatosa East High School.

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Wait on the Lord: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the Lord.

Psalm 27: 14 (KJV)

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Lake Michigan
June 2018

Ellen Grace Olinger

Poems For My Mother

When Charlotte Digregorio thanked me for reblogging her post, she mentioned that she enjoyed this blog and my writing about my mother.

I wrote a lot about my mother in the early years of this blog.  Her passing was in 2004, and I had the privilege of helping with her care for years.

These are a few of the poems I wrote for my mother.

EASTER DINNER

The background is red
Her hair has become silver
And her dress is rust.
Her smile these days is pure gold
And her eyes sparkle anew.

(Easter Dinner was published first in Time Of Singing, 1993.  The poem goes back to a time when my mother was growing a new life, after my father’s passing.)

*

God’s Grace

You went on
After more losses
Than I can name

With you as
Mother and model
I must do the same

You suffered and
I do not ask you
To bear more pain

You are eternally well
Still saying, “I love you”
Again and again

(Published in Bell’s Letters No. 109; and The Discerning Poet, Autumn 2004.)

*

Taking turns
Letting each other go
Only to learn again
How love grows,
Mother

(Published in Bell’s Letters Poet No. 115, Jan. 2006.)

*

another year
has passed since
my mother’s passing
I sit and quietly read
a book she would like too

for Enola M. Borgh
1917 – 2004

in loving memory and peace

My mother was a professor in the English Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

*

And a haiku and photo of flowers:

groceries for Mom
fresh flowers
always on the list

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Ellen Grace Olinger

Daily Prompt: Cherish

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I cherish memories of the caregiving years with my mother and family.  I could not imagine blogs then.  My mother often asked, “Are you writing?”  She was called Home in 2004.

Grateful for a quiet Christmas this year.

And I have to review my archives to remember all I have written since the caregiving years.  One day at a time, and also trust for the “big picture” over time.

*

Taking turns
Letting each other go
Only to learn again
How love grows,
Mother

(Published in Bell’s Letters Poet No. 115, Jan. 2006.)

*

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Ellen Grace Olinger

A Poem For You (1991)

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I taped up a picture of you
It must have been your last
Healthy Christmas – long overdue,
But you understand
I know you do.

And I’m up early to have some
Time alone before teaching, too
And I understand even more now
You know I do.

Mom’s doing better now…
She told me how you stood
Between two railroad cars
All the way from Washington D.C.
To Chicago after World War II.

And I’m teaching my heart out
Giving essay tests, too
Pouring out my soul
Like you used to do.

It’s Christmas again, and I
Taped up a picture of you
I’m writing poems and
Taking walks – doing fine
But missing you
Has not ceased with time.

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Published in Midwest Poetry Review (1993); Bell’s Letters (1993); The Spirit of Christmas (1994, Weems Concepts).

Also included in my first chapbook, And So My Soul (2001).  Out of print.  I dedicated this book to my parents, Harold and Enola Borgh.

My mother loved this poem.

Ellen Grace Olinger

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Images: wpclipart