The poem I’m sharing today was published on The Whistling Fire, which is no longer in existence, so I feel that I can post it now on this blog. It’s one of many poems that will be featured in my upcoming collection.
Let me know what you think. It’s a sestina poem, and this type of poem is tough to write because the words at the end of each line must remain the words at the end of each line throughout the poem, but in a different order for each stanza as you build the poem. As you will see, my repetitive words are as follows: sea, garden, children, direct, cherish, and beauty. There’s an order to it, and if you like to challenge yourself, I suggest you attempt a sestina.
THE THINGS HE CHERISHED
by Stephanie Verni
In my cottage by the sea,
hours spent admiring the garden,
I wait patiently for my children
to return home, direct
from the city to cherish
this place. Its specialness and beauty.
Flowers, surf, majestic beauty—
sharp, blue sky against the sea,
it reflects in my children’s eyes; I cherish
watching them work in the garden
my husband’s eyes in theirs, a direct
melding of our souls into those of our children.
My son, my daughter, walk the lane. My children
still seem so young, their beauty,
their clear sense of life’s direction,
wanting to pay homage to their father, ashes in the sea.
My tears water the garden—
this garden that he cherished.
And oh! He cherished
this home, his dream, and his children,
his handprints still fresh in the garden
his loving touches made it beautiful.
The wind, the water. How he loved the sea–
echoes of his voice saying they provided him direction.
Now heaven’s offering him direction
from above—a new view to cherish–
this diminutive cottage dwarfed by the sea.
Will he see our children?
Will he remember the beauty
he created, lovingly, tenderly in the garden?
My hands are not those of a gardener,
his passion for it—teaching the children
his tricks. How to tend to nature’s beauty,
wanting something to cherish.
Grateful for them, knowing my children
will comfort me in his cottage by the sea.
Memories alive in the vibrant garden.
We’re here. Direct sun sparkles off the sea.
He, at peace. The things he cherished.