Sunday, May 2, 2010

winnie





The map of veins looked unnatural
cooped up on her calico lap. Those
wiry hands seemed more at ease
out back, doing something constructive,
like beating a rug.

Lord knows, I never saw her toes.
Virginal feet cocooned in lace-up
granny shoes, small, like bound Chinese,
they never found a splinter, or a jitterbug.

Every hair in place, the dishes always clean,
she was a little fish, encased forever
as a paperweight, buried in a bungalow,
jilted by a lover.



willow, 2010


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64 comments:

  1. I really liked your Magpie Willow! This was one of the things I thought of when I saw your prompt. Like being frozen in a moment in time or stagnant because of some kind of unwanted situation ... this prompt was a difficult one for me Willow but I eventually did settle on something!

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  2. Very nice -- the quintessential old maid!

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  3. this one is delicious willow...like a paperweight...nice slice of life, is she someone you know?

    my magpie will be up tomorrow...

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  4. What an interesting take on this intriguing image! And I LOVE Alan Rickman.
    Happy Sunday, Willow. I've been caught up in family stuff lately and have let my blogging go.

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  5. wow willow. i wasn't sure where to go with this image but your insight opens the whole piece up very nicely. steven

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  6. Yes, Brian, she was my sweet great-aunt, as Vickie so aptly said, a quintessential old maid.

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  7. Beautiful character study--"the map of veins" is a really striking image.

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  8. What a discription. I could almost see her..

    yvonne

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  9. Ah, she reminds me (a bit) of Miss Haversham.... I never forgot the image Dickens painted ....

    Beautiful work, Willow!

    Hugs,

    ♥ Robin ♥

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  10. I enjoyed this and the lovely paper weight picture. How sad, though...feet that never found a jitterbug. Your poem is an inspiring reminder to get out and go for it. Carpe diem and all that.

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  11. Dear Willow, I have been caught up in computer problems, too much stuff on my posts probably. Just like real life right now. Too much going on in April and May.I am so glad I got to ready your post as I didn't a little mind stretching to come up with something. Mr.T cannot get my CT up he said, so I don't know what has happened.
    QMM

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  12. Wonderfully written ... most of us probably know a 'lady' like this or have had one in our family history. It's intriguing how many different Magpies are inspired by one photo!

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  13. Some life times are just not spent happily.

    I love how she came to life here!

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  14. So perfect the way you tell her story in this form...giving dignity to a life lived.

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  15. Living a forever enclosed life. Must be stifling.

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  16. What a sad, meaningless life. But well described, Willow.

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  17. Oh my, you have written about my aunt Evie....seperated from her first and only love because of religion...
    But Cat..I don't think it was a meaningless life..I actually saw a determined woman who lived her life the way she chose...wonderful wonderful gorgeous poem Willow
    your words ....so wonderful

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  18. Willow, that last stanza packs a whallop. The poem is full of strong images that paint the picture with short, powerful brushstrokes. No wasted words. I like the staccato sound of it. Ironically, you bring Winnie to life vividly, even though she has a non-life buried in the bungalow.

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  19. Winnie certainly didn't have a meaningless life. She was a kind woman, devoted to her extended family. I wonder, though, what her life might have been like, had she lived out her life with the love of her youth.

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  20. This, as always, is wonderful Willow. I can see her now, it is as if it she is a suspension of time. Wonderful.

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  21. It is interesting to envision the alternate universe where Winnie might have been happy in love. But it sounds like she was at least BUSY in this universe & most likely felt that being needed was some compensation for lost love...

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  22. I liked the line they never saw a splinter, or a jitterbug.

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  23. I like the levels this piece goes to..poor soul, so encased! I'm sure she had value..

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  24. perhaps at this very moment, she is, at last touching a jitterbug!

    fabulous post, ladywillow, as usual! fabulous!

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  25. oh, and i have seen something the lord made! incredible film! and superb actors all! great movie, for sure!

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  26. This is so visual -- and somehow, so complete. Wonderful small portrait.

    (Especially love the description of Winnie's feet.)

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  27. This is so pitiful. I think we have something similar. Somebody sent us a scorpion encased in clear plastic of some sort. I think a paperweight.

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  28. Willow

    A slice of Willow's family tree frozen in time. A lovely poem with a rhythm to it -- it is wonderful that you get to honor your family tree by writing poetry about them or short stories with memorable tributes.

    Joanny

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  29. Willow,
    You have our little Aunt Winnie described to a T. My, how she loved each one of us, for who we were. We all were her pride and joy. Great poem! :) The Bach

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  30. willow, you are incredible!

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  31. I'm sure I would have liked Winnie. Well fleshed flash - terrific!

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  32. thanks so much for taking the time to stop by today, willow.
    i have enjoyed myself tremendously, scrolling through your blog. your command of so many different areas is amazing! count me in on the ride, i'm your latest admirer/follower :)

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  33. Interesting that we all have a map of veins pulsing with hopes and dreams...

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  34. I am always interested on how people interpret this prompt. Love your take.

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  35. Excellent poem, although the phrase "like bound Chinese" made me cringe.

    I read a book on bound feet and it had one-too many photographs. Ack!

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  36. See seemed kind of self-sufficient and happy to me, then I got to the last line and went...aw. Dang.

    But then I felt uplift, because I feel like she triumphed over that disappointment to become self-sufficient and happy. I could be fooling myself, but who could be unhappy beating a rug?

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  37. Willow,
    Memories are like paperweights; moments of time encased in the recesses of our mind.
    Cool!
    rel

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  38. aw...good stuff. but if she needs to get out, i've got a house needs some cleaning. always keen on your poetics.

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  39. Dear Willow: Awesome! How could a granny be an old maid? Unless...it was the best of times it was the worst of times. Never jitterbugged eh? Now that's rare as the paperweight! Lively poem with historical significance I'm sure. The unravelling of The Willow's Tale. Interesting indeed!

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  40. Chiccoreal, heh-heh, just the shoes were of the granny variety!

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  41. This is exquisite. I can 'see' Winnie ... her delicately folded hands, her tiny feet, her hidden life.

    I've just clicked on your Magpie tales page. Delicious. I'll be reading the rules with an eye to future participation.

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  42. Nana Jo, yes, please do jump in and write a Magpie or two. It's tons of fun. We'd love to have you!

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  43. 'buried in a bungalow' sounds so evocative and sad, willow.

    Lovely poem

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  44. Great job willow, very good piece. The perfection that rots you inside and does not allow for another human being to disturb it.

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  45. Wow.

    Reading this made me think about how people used to have private lives. They did. I'm glad as a culture we let our hair down, took off our tightly laced shoes, etc. But oh. To have privacy. Oh wow.

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  46. Very sad, poor winnie. I'm so glad I've traveled the world and even gotten in a little dancing!

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  47. Beautiful poem. 'they never found a splinter, or a jitterbug.' is sad and poignant. You're a natural. Miss you on the bus.

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  48. your poem matches the image,
    beautiful, inspirational, and sweet.
    top post for this week's magpie!

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  49. Very good, Willow. Reminds me of one of my aunts.

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  50. I love the way you described her foot wear..granny shoes, small, like bound Chinese,
    they never found a splinter, or a jitterbug.
    Perfect poem using the picture prompt.

    Christine

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  51. Trapped in time and her own history. I know this person. She lives a life but there is a sadness for the life not lived.

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  52. Poor little old maid lady. I feel sorry for her........

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  53. Oh I long for her the freedom of going out back and doing something constructive like beating a rug.

    (I had five great-aunts "the aunties" who all lived together, none married, into their 90s. Some people thought they were old maids. We knew better. Your poem reminds me I should write about them.)

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  54. http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/magpie-tale-the-list-of-magpie-tale-participants/

    mine is up,
    thank you for the attention!

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  55. Wonderful poem, Willow! And great photo accompanying it here!

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  56. How lovely and heart breaking.

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  57. http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/05/09/sunday-special-awards-for-remarkable-memes-and-participants/

    Meme participation award
    Happy Sunday!
    Happy Mother's Day for Moms in your life!

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)