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Her Morning Delight

by Maureen Glaude


in the later years
my mother didn’t like the swimming
the weeds in the river water
over-grown and hungry
to wrap around her legs

in the later years
plagued with back troubles
she couldn't tolerate
the over-soft mattress there
and gave up coming with us
to the rented summer cottage at Sand Bay

but in the haze of hot August mornings
in the early years
my mother always woke up first
and left the green-gabled cottage
rich with the scent and sounds
of the metal percolator making the coffee
and a bit of bacon fat put aside
for me to take down to the rock
to still-fish with (though it never worked)
when I arose

before six in the morning
she gently closed the screen door
and sneaked down the dirt road
to the beach to skinny-dip
with only the wildlife watching

the warblers and the chipmunks
whispers of August breeze
docked boats rocking against shore
serenaded their welcome, as she dropped
her rose-flowered cover-up
onto the sand, and mounted the floating raft
to dive nude into the river

dipping, rolling, lolling
her own smooth curves and inlets
under the silken sheets
of dawn water
before the beach came to human life
with the clatter of children and pails
neighboring holidayers and boating parties

I discovered her for the first time
one morning when I visited my fishing rock
earlier than usual
I was a little shocked
unaware what it was to skinny dip
till she assured me of its delights

Sand Bay was no private retreat
but a small community of
near-by cottages tucked amid pine and birch
on roads settled in blocks
with a candy store
on either side of the shoreline
and friends and neighbors we knew from home
even our school, summering there

my mother’s days at the cottage
ended long before ours
my father and we girls, the last lingerers
over the seven-year tradition

but in those early years
before the weeds crept in and grew rampant
and before her back turned bad

my mother rose and
sneaked down the dirt road
every sun-gold morning
to revel nude and delighted
in dawn water

03/19/2004

Posted on 03/19/2004
Copyright © 2021 Maureen Glaude

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Michele Schottelkorb on 03/19/04 at 09:13 PM

what an endearing piece about your mum... to describe the beauty of nature... and to bathe in nature (in all ways) is refreshing and nostalgic... she must have been some kind of lady... blessings...

Posted by Kara Hayostek on 03/21/04 at 05:37 AM

This is a beautiful tribute for your mother. You described everything in such detail I can easily visualize her running from the cottage to the river.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 03/21/04 at 10:08 PM

Hmmm...choosing between the two is a tough one. Have to say I like this one better for its additional descriptiveness, but the other version stands nicely as well. Have you shown these to her???

Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 03/24/04 at 12:24 PM

I read the second poem first dealing with this subject so my comments apply similarly to this one. You have a little more of the "local color" in this one which adds to the atmosphere of the poem.

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