FELICIA MITCHELL IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE POETS. HER MOST RECENT CHAPBOOK, THE CLEFT OF THE ROCK, WAS PUBLISHED BY FINISHING LINE PRESS LAST YEAR. THE POEM BELOW TOUCHED ME TO THE MARROW THE FIRST TIME I READ IT AND CONTINUES TO DO SO. I CAN'T THINK OF A LOVELIER POEM FOR EASTER MORNING.
Shaking bone meal
from my bare hands
into the rose bed
where only one bush grows,
I feel as if I’m scattering
my father’s ashes
all over again.
This month marks
the seventh year
my father has lain
in my garden,
his ashes in my hands
still as palpable
as bone meal or thorns.
I will hide an egg
behind his ear.
Jesus will call down to him
to get up and play.
But the rose bush
that is turning green,
this rose will sink its roots
a little deeper in the earth
and in a few months
drop its petals
like so many red tears.
— Felicia Mitchell
Felicia is a widely published poet, with listings in Poets & Writers Directory andContemporary American Authors. Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies since 1983, recently in Columbia. A Journal of Literature and the Arts,Weber Studies, and Many Mountains Moving. In 2009, Finishing Line Press of Kentucky released The Cleft of the Rock. In 2008, “There is No Map” was published as an online chapbook by Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. The poems in this collection are included in The Los Language of Dragon, a book-length collection of poems about dementia currently in submission to presses. In 1999, Earthenware Fertility Figure was published as a first-prize chapbook through a competition sponsored by Talent House Press in Oregon.
A magnificent lament on life, living, death, and renewal of spirit.
We are all flowers and earth...
Beautiful images -- and what better place to lay one's ashes.
I've enjoyed Felicia when she's participated in Poetry Hickory!
Oh, this is lovely! And very much on the same theme as mine, today!
I especially like "Jesus will call down to him to get up and play. He won’t" and the "red tears".
A poignant reminder of the bond between us that not even death can break. A moving poem of acceptance.
what a fantastic piece! i just love the way Felicia moves from something so concrete to an almost surreal final stanza. Terrific!
Beautiful poem. Thank you for introducing me to Felicia's work.
A wonderful poem, thanks to Felicia and to you, Kathryn, for bringing it to our attention. I have posted a link to this poem on my "Caught our eye" side bar. Hope you like it.
Easter can be sad for many of us who have lost loved ones, but this beautiful poem helps us know that life continues as long as we remember those who have gone.
Thanks for posting, Kay. I want to read more by Felicia.
A gem of succinct emotion and psychic truth. Thank you for showing it to us. I'll be looking for more from this lady!
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