The Summer of 1948

Pepper Grows on Trees!

Image by Randy Son Of Robert via Flickr

The Summer of 1948

I perch in my pepper tree.
Pungent scents, fingered
leaves embrace me.
A lady bug, dressed in red
with black polka dots
climbs my arm, tickles.

Ocean sand, white as the rind
of a watermelon, clings to my
bare toes.
Only hours ago I ran through it,
reaching out, stretching to catch

The smell of hot concrete
dampened by rain showers
lingers along with DDT
sprayed from a can with a
plunger like a bicycle pump.

I slip down the gnarly trunk,
enter the house by the
screen door near the
Bendix with the ringer where
Mama found a black widow

She’s melting a blue cube
of laundry starch
in hot water.

“Did you know I’m four
and a half today?”
I ask. She nods, smiles.
The black fan whirrs
in the background.

“Go on over to Stewie’s,” she says.
“It’s almost time for
Kukla, Fran and Ollie.”

Cross-legged on the floor
I watch the 12” screen,
and understand.

Linked to Gooseberry Garden’s prompt (November 13, 2011) that invites us back into childhood reverie …a poem written many years ago! If you feel like it’s deja-vu all over again, don’t be concerned. This was initially posted last summer. (Guess I’m giving away my age here!)


Ninety Years of Love

I wrote this poem for my mother’s 90th birthday celebration and am submitting it for Poetry Potluck’s theme: Memories, Photos, Nostalgia.

Just a bit of background info: my mother was widowed at age 23 when my father died in the Second World War. She had a 3 month old baby (moi!) and survived thanks to her strong faith in God and the support of her family. Seven years later, she met a widower who had a daughter and remarried. She has met life’s challenges with acceptance, humor and just a bit of fiestiness! 


Brigid Ceretto 90th Birthday--Photo: David Slotto

 Brigid—Ninety Years of Love
An Acrostic

Beauty within, beauty without
Rarely finds a home so perfect.
Inspired by grace,
Gifted with lovingkindness
Inching toward fulfillment.
Divine flower opening.

Nesting in your garden, a hummingbird brings joy.
Imagine all creation celebrating your life!
Near in mind and spirit, all those you have loved—
Each moment spent in gratitude.
To those of us who love you, every moment shared brings blessing.
Yesterday, today and tomorrow unfold in goodness.

Years ago, when hope was young and
Every day held promise,
All the pain you bore could not erase nor
Rebuke the gift of faith that makes you strong, that
Sustains your courage with its song.

Once again love found you and gifted you with
Family and friends and you gave back in kind.

Lest you forget how much you’re loved.
Only close your eyes and recall,
Valiant woman, the measure of your worth
Embraces God.

(In the photo, Mom is blowing out the ONE candle on her birthday cake!)