The Very Thought of You

Poetry Prompt from dVerse Poets Pub “Poetics: InterActions.”  I chose to do Gretchen Leary’s music prompt.  Here goes.  (“The Very Thought of You by Billie Holiday, the first singer I fell in love with)


The rain is pattering on the overhang

black coffee in the air

the smell of paint from

my little kitchen I just painted

Emma is asleep in her crib upstairs

as Lady Day dips and drones

and flattens the back of my throat

as we sing

…the very thought of you…

it is July in my prime

I go outside, barefoot,

smelling the wet pavement

hissing off the avenue

and sneak into the neighbor’s

yard, near the alley

and pick as many lilacs

as I can carry, the water

dripping onto my face and hair

…Emma, my girl, I’m a mama…

….I see your face in every flower,

                          your eyes in stars above…

Back inside I take out

blue mason jars and old bottles

I’ve collected since high school

and fill them all, cluttering

windowsills, tables, the steps

swaying my hips

to the scaling piano

to the motion in my life

everything where it should be

everything right

...I’m livin’ in a kind of daydream…

        …I’m happy as a queen…

rain streaks the glass

I think of how I’ll tell her this

when she’s older–how her mama

was a spring of a girl, dancing

to muffled jazz, picking lilacs in the rain…

…and foolish though it may seem…

         …to me, that’s everything….

19 thoughts on “The Very Thought of You

  1. very cool, atmoshpheric all the scents..the coffee..paint..lilacs..the wet pavement…cool soft rhythm in this as well… i sing along..


  2. oh wow…you really lived within this song…love the feel of this amy…the sneaking into your neighbors yard to steal flowers…ha…and i think you should tell her when she is older…this is a very happy moment…smiles…


  3. A lovely reflections on those days – specially like these lines:

    how her mama
    was a spring of a girl, dancing
    to muffled jazz, picking lilacs in the rain…

    I enjoyed the music link too, (reminds me of my dad’s music)


  4. This is beautiful; and I am sure that your daughter will appreciate knowing some day

    how her mama
    was a spring of a girl, dancing
    to muffled jazz, picking lilacs in the rain…

    Maybe you can start by showing her this poem!


  5. …a true inspired write that introduces your beautiful heart… loved the song choice i find really touching not only the song cover but also the very thought of its message inside & when sang… smiles… enjoyed it…thalks…


  6. I loved the imagery of the lilacs being picked in the rain, and it made me reflect that I haven’t been out in the rain for months (drought where I am). I do like getting wet when there’s no rush to be anywhere in particular..


  7. The pacing of the vivid descriptions is frighteningly perfect. I was swept up and away as I read, and delivered back to the reality of the kitchen as I read. It lit up my mommy heart, too. Lets tell our children so many beautiful things, at every age. 🙂


  8. What a lovely tribute to your daughter and to Billie Holiday. This poem reminds me of how I feel about my sweet girl.


  9. I really liked this. The tempo, the voice, the over-flowing lilacs from collections of jars, the smell of rain, the thought of future conversations with daughter. Excellente. And the song was/is very special.


  10. This is a side of you what I really like. I know there’s sadness and darkness, but there’s also so much beauty and mystery in this life and you’ve found it here. Love the imagery and the action here. Usually (less talented) writers get hung on the details and the narrative just comes to a thudding stop. Not here, my dear. Especially love that you have found the truest of all loves: in the service of another, in this case, beautiful Emma. Gorgeous! This am gorgeous! Big hugs and love to you! Mosk



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