Sunday, May 9, 2010

Carl Palmer - Two Poems

Ode to Her Portrait

Her permanent is just that,
not a hair out of place, ever.
Smiling her same small smile
from this cracked glossy photo

in its heavy oval pewter frame.
Her best green dress and pale

jade necklace both enhance her
rusty red hair remembered from

that day in this faded black and
white print. I trace her face, long
for her embrace, smell the familiar
aroma of Irish lavender, close my
eyes and sway, as the radio plays,
“The Tennessee Waltz”.

Senior Moment

I just had a senior moment.
Not something I forgot,
but something I remembered.
I just remembered how my mom
would see or hear something
reminding her of something I did
when I was small, getting that smile
in her eyes, looking back and
seeing me in my cowboy hat.
“Stick’em up Mommy.”
I remember her senior moments,
as she explained them,
not forgetting, but remembering.
Now I have them, a visit back,
a reminder, like it was yesterday.
My senior moment happens
as I watch the young mother herd
her 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls
across the street to the brick church.
She checks each one before entering,
stops short, kneels down
in front of the oldest boy,
turns his head side to side,
holds his chin, takes a tissue
from her purse, licks it and
rubs the smudge from my cheek.

Carl Palmer, nominee for the Pushcart Prize and Micro Award, from Old Mill Road in Ridgeway, VA, now lives in University Place, WA.


  1. You are my hero and my inspiration. The beauty of your work had elevated my soul.

  2. Dear, Carl,

    Congrats on another two moving poems. The first speaks of love, and that, of a seasoned and mature bond, deep and abiding--poignant. The piece is arguably even scarring, because if the love is lost, say ... due to "sleep," then, oh, the pain.

    If she isn't, then one day she will be, and then the promise is of scarring to come. But what a mark to bear for the sake of "real" love.

    With the second, I couldn't help but think of my own mother, who, blessedly, is still with me. "Your stick 'em up, Mommy," and especially, the woman licking the tissue, brought back powerful reminders of the faithfullness and care my own mother bestowed upon me.

    Thank you so much for the work you produce.

    All my best,

    A fan,

    Rob M. Miller

  3. It's good to see that poem published on the web. It looks good.