Monday, March 31, 2014

Words that Evoke Blushing

Today I happened to come across a nostalgic article by author Kelly Corrigan, "Apparently, My Mom Was Once a Girl." Her story of the day that she discovered the girl her mother had once been, via old letters between her father and her mother, reminded me so much of a poem I wrote years ago, when I was in my 20's and made a similar discovery about my mom. Here's the poem:

by Susan L. Lipson

Mom? Blushing?!
"Bobbi!" (He calls her "Bobbi"?!)
Then this apparently familiar stranger
Who obviously wishes to hug her,
But doesn’t—
Probably notices me,
Notices our resemblance
Ogles her and sighs,
“You look just as gorgeous,
as you did…what is it now…25 years ago. Wow." 
That was before I even knew her,
before Dad even knew her--
Dad, who never calls her "gorgeous."
Now she's giggling. Really? Mom?!

"Remember when...,"
he reminds her,
and she beams,
And this "Al" smiles at her appreciatively--
up and down--
and she lowers her eyes demurely,
but almost smirking. Mom?!

But who IS he--rather, WAS he--to her,
this giddy, blushing "Bobbi" girl,
a.k.a. Mom
a.k.a. Barbara,
a.k.a. Dad's wife?

She's laughing now.
Flirting? Nah.
Smirking again. Mom!
She's red,
and I'm green,
in every sense of the word.


Do you remember when you first "saw" your parent as her/his former, single self, the object of someone's romantic desire, someone other than your other parent? Remember that day in words and write your own memoir or poem to capture that life-altering moment. 

Monday, March 17, 2014



"Wow! I never would've thought of that!" he gasped, his eyes aglow.


"Wow. I never would've thought of that," he sighed, the light in his eyes dimming.

So similar are these experiences, and so dependent on how we look at them.

Through what kind of eyes--glowing or dimming--do you see your realizations, whether they are enlightening or disillusioning? Our perspective determines whether we will grow from realizations, or become paralyzed by them.

Both enlightenment and disillusionment catalyze change, and the positivity or negativity of the changes depends entirely upon our reactions.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Whimsical Thoughts Hatch a Poem

          I stepped outside my front door to relish the sunlight glowing on the winged reader statue who sits in my garden. As I poised my camera to take a photo of her, I moved closer, quietly, and then asked myself, "Wait--why am I creeping up on her as if I'm taking a picture of some wild creature? It's not like she's going to move!" After snorting at my own silliness, I suddenly imagined that the book in the statue's hands was my own novel, now in submission to agents. What if this reader were my Muse, pondering my pages--pages she had inspired? What if she were making a routine landing to check up on my progress, and then she would leave the book on the pedestal, to allow me to etch more words for her next visit? Or maybe she'd fly off with my pages, to inspire a reader (maybe an agent or a publisher) by carrying my words into their hearts and minds. Suddenly, I thought of this poem, and then ran back inside to write it: 

To the Muse in My Garden
by S. L. Lipson

Soften your heart, my Muse;
Look up from the words I've laid in your lap,
Smile, nod, gather my pages to your heart,
Then leap up and fly away with my treasure,
To land in the garden of another dreamer,
Waiting to be moved, too.