Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Last One!

Yes, 29 posts but 30 poems. And that's me done for NaPoWriMo. By the time I got this prompt "scatter", I was heading off to work for the day, and now that I'm home it's probably May 1st in the US. I hereby redefine the boundaries of April to encompass May 1st.

I was watching "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" the other night on TV. My family is neither noisy nor Greek, but there was one thing that resonated with me - all the cousins named Nicky. I found while researching my Scottish forbears, that the Scots had a very traditional naming pattern which resulted in large numbers of cousins with the same name, named for their grandparents. This poem is about the Jeans, although I could equally have written one about seven cousins all named David. I was thinking of the way in which the families who had no future in overcrowded Scotland scattered around the world.

There are four cousins
all named Jean. This is to remind them
of their Scottish grandmother
whom they have never seen,
and of the tenuous web which links them
to each other.
One Jean sews shirts
in Norwalk, Connecticut.
One Jean sings songs
in Newcastle on Tyne
One Jean is married to a doctor
in Boone, Iowa.
Dunedin Jean was born at sea.
She still feels its pull
as she walks on the beach at St Clair
reading a letter from the doctor's wife
who tells of the death of her baby
(also Jean).
Dunedin Jean
gazes out at the blue Pacific
and thinks of the cornfields of Iowa,
wave on wave of green.


January said...

Congrats Catherine! The amazing thing is that we have 30 drafts to work with, and that's a huge accomplishment.

As for poem #30, I like the history that you weave throughout. My hope is that you expand it and go into even more detail. I'd like to see where it takes you.

Anonymous said...

thanks for all your poems this month, it's been great following your work.

paris parfait said...

I've missed reading all your poems due to three weeks of non-stop guests, then a short trip. I really like this poem about all the Jeans!

Kay Cooke said...

You have such a great way of telling a story in your poems and then stiching it all together at the end in a beautifully delicate, satisfying manner. (Maybe your quilting experience helps you out here?)