Friday, May 05, 2017

Poetry Sisters Write "Things to Do" Poems

The Poetry Sisters are back this month writing "Things to Do" poems. Laura chose this month and gave us the added task of writing to a month or season. When I sat down to brainstorm, I kept thinking about winter in Buffalo, but decided I wanted to write about something a bit more cheery, so I decided to focus on spring. Little did I know that my second round of brainstorming would take me to May and a month that brings me both great joy and great sadness. The poem wrote itself on a run one morning. I actually cut it a bit short to get home and write the words down. It doesn't follow the "rules" at all, but I'm in the midst of grading and graduation and just haven't had time to revisit.

Today, my father would have been 91 years old. On Sunday as the graduates walk across the stage, I'll quietly mark the 8 years since his passing. Then on the 10th, my mother will recall the nearly 57 years they had together, as she marks what would have been their 65th wedding anniversary. I tried to find a picture of them together to share, but couldn't find many because dad was always behind the camera. Here's one I took of them with William from the summer of 2008.

Here's my poem for this month's challenge, offered up today for my dad.

Things to do in May …

Bittersweet this month’s refrain
with joy and laughter, tears and pain

Send graduates into the world
watch April flowers come unfurled

Observe the world with life renewed
as geese and ducks corral their broods

Honor our mothers for all that they do
and those without children who mother us too

Commemorate troops strong and brave
place flags upon their silent graves

Celebrate my father’s birth
mourn his passing from this earth

Before May passes into June
spend some time one afternoon
remembering all that’s good and true
the happy, the sad, the me and you.

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2017. All rights reserved.

You can read the poems written by my poetry sisters at the links below. 
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup. Happy poetry Friday friends!


  1. Honoring mothers - and those without children. Ushering one generation out, and a new one in. Sitting and thinking of blessings.

    A good list of to-dos, I think. ♥

  2. Love the poignancy of your poem -- good things mixed with sadder things. Mother's Day has become harder; can't believe my mom has been gone 4 years already, and then when Memorial Day rolls around at the end of the month, I'll think of her again, and her military service. Sigh.

  3. Tricia, thank you for sharing about your father today... the sweetness and bitter of May. Also, I've been reading DAKOTA: A Spiritual Geography thanks to your mention of it last month. You touch so many and probably don't even realize it... thank you! xo

  4. I love how your poem focuses on memorials and observations.

  5. What a beautiful tribute to the month of May and to those we've loved and now miss like your father.

  6. Beautiful. I especially love the last lines -
    "remembering all that’s good and true
    the happy, the sad, the me and you."

  7. **tears**
    This is my first Mother's Day without one and though I didn't think it would matter so does.

  8. "Observe the world with life renewed/as geese and ducks corral their broods..." There is so much happening in the natural world around us right now. Time to stop and take a look. Thank you for the reminder! Christie @

  9. You wrote this while you were running?? I love it. You touch upon so much, beautifully.

  10. Things to Do Today

    Cross out.

    ©Jane Yolen all rights reserved

  11. Oh, Tricia. I love the fullness of this--the life, the death, the joy, the sadness. The poem encompasses all of it...beautifully. Hugs

  12. Beautiful poem, and lovely last stanza, thanks!