Friday, June 10, 2011

RAIN BARREL: An Original Memoir Poem

I still have vivid memories of the times I spent at the home of my maternal grandparents. I’d often ride my bike over to their house in the summer so I could play with my cousins Karen and Joyce. They lived on the other side of my grandparents’ duplex. We three cousins would help weed my grandfather’s vegetable garden, play dress-up with my aunt’s old clothes, run through the sprinkler, and water my grandmother’s sunflowers, peonies, hydrangeas with water my grandparents collected in a rain barrel that stood just outside their cellar door.

The following poem comes from my unpublished collection of memoir poems titled A Home for the Seasons:

by Elaine Magliaro

Beside the cellar door
stands Dzidzi’s rain barrel.
Deep brown as the earth itself,
it seems rooted in the ground.
In it Dzidzi captures the melting sky
he waters garden flowers with.
We plunge our small tin watering cans
deep into Dzidzi’s wooden well
and pull them out full of fallen rain
we shower over the brown-faced sunflower,
bright pink peonies, and puffy white snowballs.
On sticky summer days, we splash
our arms and faces in its coolness.
And sometimes, alone in the backyard,
I stare down into its dark liquid universe
as if looking for a lost star
that has fallen there.


Anastasia Suen has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Picture Book of the Day.


jama said...

Oh, what a treat. You know how much I love your memoir poems. The "melting sky" is beautiful, and I love that moment of reflection at the end.

Ruth said...

This is wonderful! Our rain barrel is one of the things on my list of poetry ideas. I love what you have done with yours.

Melissa said...

What a lovely poem; straight away it made me think of my grandmother's garden and watering her strawberries. You might have inspired a memoir poem of my own. Thank you.

Mary Lee said...

What great memories! I am going to take bits of my mother's garden home with me this trip -- 7 new colors of iris!

Anonymous said...

I love the whole atmosphere of the poem. You get the reader into those memories like we were there, sitting somewhere and watching everything unfold. I especially love the latter part the way it stops in "and sometimes," then flows into "alone in the backyard."

Julie said...

Love the turn toward silence at the end of your poem, Elaine - that's lovely. Our rain barrel (well, an old oak 1/2 barrel really) fell apart a few years ago. Time to get a new one so my grandson can play with the water when he visits!