How a Poem is Born

I’ve managed to string together a few “pretty good” days in a row. Anna was home this past weekend. We had coffee with my sister on Saturday morning. Then she potted all of my outside flowers…in between rain showers and having to run and get more dirt…we grossly underestimated the amount needed. On Sunday morning I had breakfast with my friend Vicki and then Anna and I headed down to Red Wing for a wedding shower. Jason’s nephew is getting married next month. My first Great Nephew was also at the shower…nothing can beat two week old baby cuddles. Yesterday, I got it in my head that I wanted to plant some elevated beds with veggies. My sister-in-law helped me with that project.

Sometimes people ask me how I write my poems. A variety of ways really. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m going to write until I sit down at my desk. Sometimes something in nature inspires me…like “Tree of Enchantment” or “Fall”. I wrote a poem for my friend Terri after I was at her house and we were talking about how we hate it when people say we “lost” our husbands…like they are a missing sock or something. Sometimes my poems come from a phrase I have been turning over in my head….”Fairy Tale” was the result of thinking about “happy endings” for days.

Often my poems are emotions that I’m trying to make sense of by putting them into words. That’s how the two poems I wrote tonight came into being. One of the things that I struggle with is being able to “appropriately” celebrate other people’s happiness and big life occasions….babies and weddings being the most difficult. Of course, babies and weddings are happy occasions and I am happy for the people that are celebrating them…I LOVE babies and weddings…but they also are very sharp reminders to me that those days are over…I will never feel that happy again. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to share in those occasions…but I will also be sobbing later.

So I sat down and thought I was going to write a poem about that emotion. I even wrote “Yesterday” at the top of the page and then this poem came out of nowhere.

Looking Down

Heaven is said to be the
Ultimate goal

When you breathe your last and
Release your soul

They say it’s a place of
Beauty and peace

Where God gathers you close and
All your pains cease

But what do you do all day
Without your family

Your daughters and sons
Do you miss me?

What are you thinking
When you look down from a cloud?

I hope you see our kids and
They make you proud

Anna leads the way
Strong and confident

Following her passions
To every continent

Seth is finding his path
Winding as it may be

Struggling with his own grief
He still takes care of me

Levi watched the way you
Loved me for years

That love he shows his girlfriend
Never causing her tears

Our brood is finding their way
I wish you were here to see it

To enjoy them next to me
Not just in spirit

It was definitely an “I’m not really sure where that came from” moment…but it worked, so there it is. I immediately finished that one, renamed it…and then wrote my “Yesterday” poem


Let me tell you about yesterday

Yesterday I met a guy
A tennis-playing computer nerd
Something about him caught my eye

Let me tell you about yesterday

Yesterday we kissed for the first time
We were in his brother’s dorm room
After that I called him mine

Let me tell you about yesterday

Yesterday we went “all in”
Said our “I do’s”
In front of family and friends

Let me tell you about yesterday

Yesterday we grew our family
A daughter and two sons
A perfect Fregien trilogy

Let me tell you about yesterday

Yesterday we laughed we loved
Cried and fought together too
But always rose above

Let me tell you about yesterday

Yesterday we had date night with friends
Holding hands, laughing, meeting each other’s eyes
Anticipating night’s end

Let me tell you about yesterday

Yesterday our heads shared a single pillow
Whispering our dreams
Our plans for tomorrow

Let me tell you about yesterday

Yesterday my soulmate died
The world kept on marching
Taking tomorrow in stride

But I just want to tell you about yesterday

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