Thursday, February 11, 2021

this winter morning (when it is -9 C)


the house is a tinder-

box of memories

windows overlook small garden

of papaya trees & bougainvilleas

so pink as delicate buds

our room of mint green curtains

is now empty of furnitures

a place of light & laughter

a world sieved in tropical colors

i smell sugar coated 

yams, rice-wrapped delicacies, 

unmistakable coconut palm breeze

wafting air

of celebratory spirit,

despite the tinge of sadness

our luggages all packed up

with boxes filled with 15 summer beach joys

& windswept photo albums

& sun dried clothes

& sugar cane fields

i take with me

this snapshot of my life -

& leave

the car 

& house keys

my purse bursting of anxious

gratefulness for tomorrow

Posted for dVerse Poets Pub - Meeting the Bar - Setting (Time and Place).  Thanks for joining in.


  1. I cannot really comprehend those mixed feeling of leaving the past like that... and of course you leave for something entirely different, the scents and light come especially strong in memories like this... wonderful writing.

  2. I felt the temperature in the opening lines Grace – we’ve had similar temperatures here since Sunday, and I love the juxtaposition of -9C and ‘tinderbox of memories’, ‘papaya trees & bougainvilleas’ to create a flashback to another time and place. I especially love the phrase ‘a world sieved in tropical colors’. But oh, the feeling I got from ‘our luggages all packed up / with boxes filled with 15 summer beach joys…’ and being left with a snapshot and a ‘purse bursting of anxious / gratefulness for tomorrow’. You know how much I love autobiographical poems – this one is a gem!

  3. I'm glad you made that journey, Grace. It was enjoyable stepping through the memories leading up to it with you.

  4. The transition must have been brutal, but there must have been good reasons, and you find gratitude, the transition must have taken.

  5. So beautiful and solemn. You describe a transition from the past, leaving things behind; the memories only then being an apparition in our heads rather than being in its presence of where everything happened.

    It's so perfectly described the anxiousness, the excitement of moving–though that of course depends on the reasons. The anxiety is communicated, along with the hopes that new memories can be made wherever you are now. That is beautiful and so touching!

  6. So easy to get caught up in this vision, Grace, so full is it of sensory apprehensions, and days ahead and days past. Beautifully done.

  7. This probably holds more than any snapshot could.

  8. So much had happened in so many ways and beautifully described, Grace. A snapshot of memories a joy forever!


  9. A beautiful description of what you were leaving behind. It touched all the senses ☺️

  10. So you left all that gorgeous beauty to move to Canada where it was -9 C.... That must have been a time of many mixed feelings.
    I love this image....
    a place of light & laughter

    a world sieved in tropical colors

  11. wonderful closing lines to an altogether awesome, sensory work. I'm envious.

  12. Your poem struck a chord which good poetry does .. I've moved many times, lived in seven States, left behind so much, anticipated so much .... an epic write Grace.

  13. 'i take with me

    this snapshot of my life -

    & leave'

    How well I understand this feeling! You don't just leave the old life behind, something dies and you feel a sense of mouring. Your poem really captured this and spoke to me.

  14. (Dunno what happened to my comment) ... What do they say about absence making presence all the ghostlier? You couldn't make the contrast starker with that icy title. It makes the tropic details so plush and yearning.

  15. “my purse bursting of anxious
    gratefulness for tomorrow”

    I love this so much.

  16. the stark contrast of seasons and temperatures ... all we are left with really are a few photos and our distorted memories ... nice to recall in the winter of our years!

  17. Such bittersweet beauty in this piece Grace! Warmth and longing — wonderful? :)

  18. Your poem brought me back to the time I left the Philippines. I know the excitement and thankfulness and sadness that you painted in this poem.



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