Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sweet Adelaide

Ken Kistler

Sweet Adelaide

Grandmother A. had always been a plain woman.
Her gaze steady, able and implacable even as that
young girl who stared back through  the scattered
memory of those who knew her then – Plain, solid
“not one to rattle anybody’s cage” Uncle Ed said, yet
in the back of the chapel there sat a white haired gent
bent, back aching on the hard, hard pew, and remembered 
in the midst of the droning secular service – remembered the
splendor of that harvest,  and Adelaide’s skin, luminous, satin
velvet under his trembling farm-roughed fingers – mystic skin
gathering each cloud of his storm troubled mind sweeping it all
away on the stiff breeze cooling them lying together in splendor
Oh that harvest, of the splendor long ago – as Adelaide blossomed 
in his heart as no other ever would or did. 
On the service droned to its end. 
Her grandchildren safe-grown, scurry-filed past –a parade of condescending ignorance – Smirking at the dozing bent gent, sated smile, mouth open, head flung back, arms opened.
And finally. Alone, in the emptied chapel he rose, walked to her coffin, held the edge of the smooth wood –  under hands gentled with age and bent in open reverence to his forever secret Adelaide 
He, un-named, unclaimed lover of his Adie. Keeper of their stupendous scattered harvest splendor. 
His luminous Adie, only  now rippling his title in the dancing dust of memory sunbeams. 
Her voice now, 
clear as then, 
their secret 
on the moving breeze, her hair lifting, tousled again as she lay on 
back on that harvest plain – 
Sweet Adelaide chuckling now, at the young fertile farmer 
above her time and time again moving,  moving,  moving 
where her earnest husband could find neither time nor place
Finally -trilling on the moving breeze, clear as a songbird, his rightful title,
In their rightful time. 


The Sunday Whirl


  1. Captivating poem, Pearl. Some secrets go to the grave.....and perhaps it is for the best, but sad that those who loved could not be together in life.

  2. Such a sad story.. Still bittersweet to have that moment alone by her coffin.. And the surprise at the end telling a new story... Wow.

  3. that's a moving narrative.well penned.

  4. "a parade of condescending ignorance".......what a sensationally good line! And what a story. Well done, Pearl!

  5. I love the poetic time switches you use to tell this moving story. Bravo.

  6. A lovely but sad tale. I love the way you changed your style of writing throuout the piece. It added interest and atmosphere. Congratulations on giving me my best read of the day.

    1. Oh my goodness Keith... what a huge compliment - Very much appreciated and delighted that you enjoyed.

  7. What stories lovers could tell yet so few are revealed, but there are memories which are cherished for ever. I wonder how many readers will now think on their own past? Beautiful tale Pearl.

  8. More poignant because I just read of the passing of two people who were dear to many people. There is a poignant hush and the person that many will never know (as your tale conveys beautifully)

  9. There is sadness in secrecy, but perhaps the memory would not have been as sweet otherwise. Some people are better lovers than spouses.

  10. Ah the secrets kept and never divulged. Makes one wonder how many other stories we have never heard...


  11. I will make every attempt to respond to each comment personally - Please accept my deep appreciation for your stopping by and responding with such lovely remarks ... My heart overflows with gratitude to each and all :)

  12. Clever use of time in this one. Nicely done.

  13. You have outdone yourself with this one, Pearl. A riveting, melancholy tale, written with movements of time.

  14. I like this very much, but I think I would have liked it even better had it stopped at 'his forever secret Adelaide'. I guess I like some mystery. (Of course, that would eliminate your punchline.)

    1. In re-reading I could defintely agree and when the 'wordle words' constraints are removed - I would definitely consider this suggestion. Thanks Rosemary :)

  15. A touchy story poetically expressed