a poetry e-zine










Poems By Linda Troxler
Wooded Dreams

As a child I wandered through corn fields and forests,
balancing precariously on fallen trees,
until I married.

As a young bride I packed my suitcases and cardboard boxes,
walking out of the sun-lit woods,
to live on love and motorcycle fumes,
until my first son was born.

As a young mother I put my helmet in the hall closet
and rocked my babies to sleep;
I kept my floors spotless so they could crawl freely,
until they grew and left home.

Now, many years later, I sit at my dining room table,
peering longingly out my glass door
at woods all around,
five dogs, the survivors of childhood pets,
sleeping peacefully nearby.

I wonder if the sun still glimmers through the tree branches,
creating kaleidoscope diamonds on the cool forest ground.

Ida Irene

My grandmother on my father’s side,
for whom my younger sister is named

Trips to the Old House when I was twelve,
down the narrow dirt road between corn fields,
golden stalks rising like straight-backed dancers
stretching on Pointe toward a mid-summer sun.
The house – just a brick chimney –
where walls had long since fallen.
Large water oaks bent toward ashy ruins;
The sun shining through their branches
made jewels gleam on dusty rubble,
printing patchwork gems on the still-standing chimney.
Its rusty-red bricks reminded me of my Daddy’s mother.

I imagined her red knuckles, raw from scrubbing clothes
at the washboard in the kitchen sink:
strong as the red-brick chimney
after bearing and raising seven children.
Strong as the sturdily-built chimney,
straight even as she bent, like the water oaks,
to stoke the early morning fire for bread-baking
and in one graceful movement,
turn to stir grits in the black pot on the wood stove.
My grandmother died before I was born,
but I could see her standing in the warm kitchen,
wiping floured hands on her white cooking apron.
I could see her in the red chimney: straight, sturdy, strong;
in the water oak branches: bending to feed her children,
fingers and cheeks burnt from the cooking fire.

Trips to the Old House when I was twelve,
passing golden corn fields.
I climbed the fallen remains,
put my back against the red brick chimney,
stood on tiptoe, reaching fingertips to the water oak branches.

I imagined myself
red-knuckled, straight, sturdy, strong,
as I listened to the water oak leaves whisper: Ida Irene.

Linda Surratt Troxler is a high school and college English teacher and a writer. She loves reading poetry that makes her reflect on life, and she loves using language to create poems that are reflections of her own life. Many of her poems relate experiences from her childhood on a Southern farm in the 1960s and 70s, her family, and her life as a wife and mother.

Copyright 2009  Chantarelle's Notebook