Welcome to Post-weekend Poetry and the seventy-fifth poem in this series, this week by Ute Carson.
Today’s Slippers Become Tomorrow’s Army Boots
Warm bodies, heated anticipation
fuse our solidarity.
Snug in knitted booties
we stretch out on our magic carpet,
the children young, content as kittens.
I orchestrate flights of fancy
and promise the little ones
that the swords and crowns missing by morning
will reappear come dreamtime.
a grandson soldier walks down his chosen path,
boots shining with confidence,
but the back of his grey army coat
bars me from seeing through to his heart.
My hands fling forward wanting to hold on
but I pull back,
my fears clinging to my upturned palms.
We lose our children to the world
which shapes them beyond our wishes and control.
Proudly we teach them
to be self-sufficient
but never learn ourselves
not to worry.
I asked Ute what prompted this piece and she said…
Parents hope to provide safe and happy childhoods for their children, perhaps even filled with magical moments. In this poem that magic takes the form of a flying carpet which propels the child into the land of dreams and the imagination.
When children grow up and go their own way parents stay behind with their worries, evoked in this poem by a grandson’s eagerness to be a soldier and his choice of a military profession.
Parents try to instill confidence in their children and encourage them to spread their wings. But they themselves must live with apprehension which is as eternal as their love.
Thank you, Ute. It was very touching.
A writer from youth, German-born Ute Carson’s first story was published in 1977. Her story “The Fall” won the Grand Prize for Prose and was published in the short story and poetry anthology, A Walk Through My Garden, Outrider Press, Chicago 2007. Her novel “Colt Tailing,” was published in September 2004 and was a finalist for the Peter Taylor Book Award Prize for the Novel. Her second novel “In Transit” was published in 2008. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and magazines here and abroad. Carson’s poetry was featured on the televised Spoken Word Showcase 2009 and 2010, 2011 ChannelAustin, Texas, USA. Her poetry collection “Just a Few Feathers” was published in 2011.
An Advanced Certified Clinical Hypnotist, Ute Carson resides in Austin, Texas with her husband. They have three daughters, five grandchildren, two horses and a number of cats.
Ute Carson’s website is www.utecarson.com.
If you’d like to submit your poem (40 lines max) for consideration for Post-weekend Poetry take a look here or a poem for critique on the Online Poetry Writing Group (link below).
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