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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)

TITLE: THE ROSES AND THE THORNS
By Henrietta W. Romman
02/22/08


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THE ROSES AND THE THORNS

I recall at cockcrow..
the silent wake call
was the smell of Syrian
seasoned home-made bread.
Mother baked at early dawn
and whispered, wept and prayed
“Ö God help my life.”
The kneaded bread rose,
As did we, to face the day.

Mother poured hot water
in and out of the family
teapot, placed tea leaves
that in the hug of heat
might brew for us to drink.
Once more she filled
the teapot with hot
water and waited…
A life-time of waiting.

Leaping, speeding years
whisked us away from
childhood to adulthood.
Do not ask mother where
matchless months, weeks
and days of her being
have fled. Schools,
colleges, loopholes
universities and life
pulled us apart.

Our mother gently freed
us from her sweet embrace
with golden words,
“Be not afraid beloved,
God like a loving mother
hen will warmly cover
you with His wings.”
Mother watched, still prayed,
while time still rolled on...




The hands that once
baked bread, braided hair,
folded clothes, are now
gnarled, now joined hard
together to ease their pain.
Eyes closed, head bent,
heart no more heavy,
waiting for God’s call..



A heartfelt prayer soars…
“O Lord I thank You
for my fate. I thank You
for the roses and the thorns.
Amen”


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This article has been read 659 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sylvia Hensel 02/28/08
What a beautiful poem. Sweet and sad at the same time. It brings memories of my own life.
Beth LaBuff 02/29/08
You’ve created a beautiful picture with your first paragraph using sight, sound, absence of sound, and smell. I also appreciated the mention of the “bread rose, as did we”. I’ve never heard the phrase “hug of heat” but I like it. I’m sure there are volumes behind this phrase, “ Schools, colleges, loopholes, universities and life pulled us apart.” (especially the “loopholes”. Then your description of your mother, “waiting for God’s call…” is beautiful. Very nice work on this.

Linda Watson Owen03/01/08
So beautifully crafted! You've woven a poem that captures the sense of intimacy and loss as this dear mother's life is ending. Wonderful images!
Jeanie Pinkston03/03/08
You handled the week's topic beautifully. Wonderful imagery in a very tender tribute!