Worth the Risk

I am not afraid of dying

It is the fear of loneliness that haunts my mind

Family disconnect is unacceptable for me

Visits and hugs are worth the risk

Embracing Covid with masked precaution

I’m pushed into the pool

It is sink or swim

Photo: Ruth Roth

Today at d’Verse, it is Quadrille Monday. We are to write a Quadrille of 44 words that includes the word embrace. This has been a long lonely year for many of us, not being able to socialize with friends and family like we used to do. Covid-19 is taking its toll around the world. One of the worst effects of Covid is the separation of families at the time of death. This to me is unacceptable, even with the risks involved. We have decided that connecting with family is worth the risk, and though infrequent, we get together from time to time. My poem today expresses that sentiment.

A Living History

This is not a painting

It is a living family history

Not just an abstract splash of color

But, a life’s journey

A story that began a lifetime ago

Moving 2500 miles to Alberta

Building a little house in the big woods

Raising his family near a Cree Indian village

By the shores of Calling Lake

*

This is a story of mid-life change

to the big city of Edmonton

Becoming a respiratory therapist

A new career of serving others

Retiring to a condo

*

Memory fading to dim

More than Mother can care for

Her brain tumor required attention

Care needed for both

*

End of like can be full of surprises

This is not a painting

It is our family’s story

Painting: Dwight L. Roth 1-2013

Today at d’Verse, Mish asked us to choose an object, that means something special to us, and write a poem beginning with the line… “This is not a _________” Eight years ago we flew to Edmonton, AB to make care arrangements for both of my wife’s parents. Her mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor and her father was suffering from Alzheimer’s. It was a traumatic time for all of us. When we finally returned home the end of January, I poured my emotions into this painting depicting their life in Alberta. To me, this is much more than a painting. It is a piece of family history!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com …click on Mr. Linkey and read more poems.

Christmas Love

Unpacking Christmas a box of loving gifts

Full of sweet memories that bring me a lift

Remembering my students’ love shared with me

Ornaments of beauty to hang on my tree

A shiny brass apple with name and date

A stained glass window made on a plate

Homemade Rudolph made with clothes pins

Cotton ball snowman and angels with wings

So many memories from yesteryear

Much love remembered sweet and clear

Grandchildren come to help each year

Oohing and awwing is what I hear

And I smile remembering back on those days

When love was shown in so many ways

My tree’s not filled with bought decorations

But a tree filled with love from a past generation

And when it’s all over we’ll pack them away

Storing the love for another Christmas day

I treasure the gratitude each one brings today

Feeling the love that will never goes away

This poem was published in the Old Mountain Press poetry and prose anthology, Enjoy the Holidays. If you have an Amazon Kindle subscription, you can read it for free at:

Together

Foster children get passed around

From house to house across the town

Five children living far apart

With dreams of a family in their heart

Robert Carter a single dad

Remembers the foster life he had

Adopted three siblings to give them a home

Discovered two more were all alone

He searched the system and found they were there

The other two siblings were in foster care

He decided he needed to make things right

And bring them together to their delight

He adopted them all and took them home

From now on these children will never be alone

Their sad separations no longer make them blue

Dreams of family really do come true

Today at d’Verse, Peter asked us to write a documentary poem. He challenged us to write about an event that is local or does not get much attention. I saw this on the local news this morning and thought it would be perfect. Adoption is so important to children whose lives have been disrupted by separation. This story touched my heart and I think it will touch yours as well.

https://www.wral.com/single-man-adopts-five-siblings/19372126/

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Because You’re My Sister

I saw this sign in an old cabin when we visited friends in the mountains a few years ago. It made me smile. It could also apply to our parents. We can’t pick our family members, but we can learn to respect and love them.

My sister was five years older than me. I always looked up to her because she was smart and well liked by all of her teachers. She took time to read to me some of the stories she was reading, and brought me left over pizza from her dates. I am sure I was an aggravation to her from time to time, but we have always maintained a good relationship, even when we disagreed over the years.

Sisters are special

One of a kind friends for life

Smile / she’s stuck with me

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Photo: Family Album

Me and my sister and little brother.

Your Roots

Beneath every tree are roots

Holding… interlocking… feeding

Bringing strength foundation

Roots the source of all beauty we see

looking at a tree

You’ve heard, “Behind every successful man

is a good woman.”

My mother was that good woman

holding interlocking our family

feeding… caring for each one.

My father was a pillar of the community

on strength and nourishment

of my mom who was always there for him.

An unsung hero

she was the roots of our tree.

Without her none of us would be

standing as we are today.

My Father and Mother on their 40th

My father died at age 70. My mom lived to be 93!

Photos; Dwight L. Roth

Putting on a Hug

Our disposable society has a lot of downside and excess baggage that comes with it. I believe we lose so much these days because we are too quick to discard what we once held dear. Whether it be friends or family or spouse, everything these days is dispensable. Commitment and vows seem to be archaic confinements in this generation. We seem to forget that in relationships we will have differences; things that may hurt deeply, but forgiveness is always a part of life. Without forgiveness, we will go on repeating our same mistakes and adding more and more baggage to our life’s load.

She tells me it’s time to throw it out

Faded and worn // button missing

But to me it is something special

A security blanket of sorts

Putting on this old shirt is like

putting on a hug

*

Just like a long-time friend

with all our quirks and flaws

We are something special

A security blanket of sorts

Having you as a friend is like

putting on a hug

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Sharing this one on open link night at d’Verse.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com Then click on the Mr. Linkey box to read from the different poets.

Celebrating Moments in Time

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My father-in-law turned 90 a few years ago and his family and long time friends gathered in his care facility to celebrate. He enjoyed it all very much, especially the cake and ice cream.  It was a wonderful time that we will long remember, although he only remembered for the moment.  Some might wonder why go all out if he won’t remember that it happened.  I believe that although he was not able to remember, the effects on his well being lasted much longer.  The goal for someone in Alzheimer’s is to create moments that make them feel alive now, and tomorrow they will still feel better, even if they do not know why. Time with loved ones is never wasted.
We celebrated
Ninety years of connections
Winter closing in
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Chocolate cake enjoyed
A very special moment
Birch trees pushing buds
Photos; Dwight L. Roth
Today at d’Verse we are celebrating birthdays. Kim asked write about a special birthday we remembered. I don’t remember any special birthday parties that I had as a child.  I decided to write about our last birthday party for my father-in-law who lived at Lifestyles Care Facility in Edmonton, AB. It was a great day for all.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

My Most Shining Moment

Mom and Dwight on her 93rd 001 (3)

In June of 2007, my two sons and I drove from North Carolina and Virginia to visit my mom in Eastern Pennsylvania. She was celebrating her 93rd, and last birthday. She passed away in August of that year. It was a wonderful visit. She was so happy to see her grandsons, and the love was felt all around. Though our visit was short, it was a very meaningful time for all of us.

My mother’s love shared

 Summer’s most  shining moment ,,,

August she was gone

***

Photo: Chris Roth

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Photo: Don Ziegler

Lillian at d’Verse, asked us to think about our most shining moment. She referred to the end of March Madness when they shoe clips of the most shinning moments of the tournament! Our assignment was to write a Haibun of prose, followed by a traditional Haiku, describing our most shining moment. There are several that I could have chosen, such as our wedding, births of our boys, our 50th, etc. , but I decided to choose my last visit with my mother.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Full Circle

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When I was young the world was small
A circle of family and friends // was all
As my world expanded my eyes were opened
To a much bigger world // harsh, cruel, and broken
Full of people who use you for personal gain
Not so concerned about your personal pain
Success and survival brought joy and heartaches
And part-time friends who left in the home stretch
Through years filled with life’s interactions
Family and friends brought more satisfaction
And into a small small world I withdrew
Valuing people who cared and really knew
The importance of family // the joy of dear friends
A wonderful bond that never ends

Photo: Dwight L. Roth