Sunflowers

jm 8a s

Joan Mitchell painted sunflowers, over and over, which always makes me think of Van Gogh (as she did, too, although her colors are softer, her strokes open and layered lightly)—the intense yellows and burning oranges, the ground a mysterious combination of blue and green. My father’s Aunt Lil often talked about that undefinable intermixture of hues, which also glowed behind her favorite painting of almond blossoms.

Aunt Lil taught my brothers and me to play poker, ignoring my mother’s silent Protestant disapproval. She was a champion bridge player, a potter (I still have a vase), a judge’s secretary, a woman who became far larger that the life that had been mapped out for her in the early 20th century.  She was the daughter who lived at home and took care of her mother until her mother died.  They watched the Saturday Night Fights every weekend on TV.

She called my father Chickie, and came to Sunday dinner often when we lived in Baltimore.

They say her fiancée died before they could marry.

Your laugh infectious,
opening like a flower–
I smile in return.

jm 8a close up s

I’m not sure this answers the Day 10 NaPoWriMo prompt for multiple things happening at the same time…but certainly the mind rambles and holds many images and thoughts at the same time, even if we can only write it out in sequence afterwards.van gogh flowers

logo-napowrimo

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About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel

16 responses to “Sunflowers”

  1. krstaten says :

    I really love this. The combinations of imagery are gorgeous, and I like how it moves from very loose prose poetry to ending with a haiku. Like the mind narrowing down, from stream-of-consciousness of abstract ideas in looser form, to a strict syllabic form for the very specific imagery of laughter. It all fits so well. And I think it worked great for the prompt. =)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lynz Real Cooking says :

    What an amazing woman

    Liked by 2 people

  3. merrildsmith says :

    I love this–the memory, the art, and the closing senyru.
    And you are right about the memories sparking many thoughts, or the other way around, perhaps both.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. rivrvlogr says :

    We’ll always remember those smiles, won’t we.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jill Kuhn says :

    Sunflowers remind me of my mother, I like what you shared about your Aunt. She sounds like she was a lot of fun and yet sensitive and caring too. 💕🌻 And I love your collaged version of sunflowers! Wow! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks Jill. Flowers are so evocative. I always think of my mother when I see roses.
      Aunts have had an outsize influence on me…I’ve enjoyed being one myself. They should get more credit!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. belletamaam says :

    found you over at ZouxZoux whom I’ve followed for years (not just poetry – we are old blogging buddies). Liked your comment so I wanted to come see and I’m so glad I did. I think you absolutely met the prompt’s parameters (maybe I should pay attention to the prompts. I didn’t get a poem yesterday). Love this: Aunt Lil taught my brothers and me to play poker, ignoring my mother’s silent Protestant disapproval.

    Liked by 1 person

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