Tuesday, October 25, 2016

DMC: "January 22, 2012 The Night After My Mother’s Funeral" by Buffy Silverman


We rifle through cabinets,
sorting piles of photographs and ancient souvenirs.
A flimsy box overflows with home movies,
mold wafts through the air.

My brother lifts a spool
and threads it through the dusty movie player,
assuming the role of boy-who-could-be-trusted-with-machines
once again.

The light flickers and our parents return,
younger than my memory spans,
at a beach house I cannot remember,
with carefree smiles I do not recognize.

My brother and sister race in and out of surf,
build castles,
bury toes,
strut their school-aged independence,
wandering farther and farther from the beach umbrella

where I shiver,
my four-year old self
wrapped in a warm towel
and my mother’s arms.

© 2016 Buffy Silverman. All rights reserved.

Kenn Nesbitt has challenged us to write poems for our mothers this month. Click HERE for more details.

Post your poem on our October 2016 padlet. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration this Friday, October 28th, and one lucky participant will win an autographed copy of Kenn's delightful new anthology, forthcoming from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on November 1, 2016:


  1. Oh, Buffy. This is very moving. Well done!

  2. One of the aspects I like most about this, Buffy, is that it comes across as a vivid, dream sequence, which is very much what it feels like when we're grieving. Like we're not really a part of the "normal" reality that we still see going on around us. Thank you for sharing.

    1. I was thinking the same thing, Michelle. Very touching poem, Buffy, and I love the role of your brother!

  3. I guess many of us have seen those movies, and you've brought a poignant memory to us all, Buffy. So much is shown in what we do in the 'after'. Beautifully written.

  4. This is such a beautiful poem, Buffy. It captures the present and the past at once and wraps us in those loving arms.

  5. I love this Buffy. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Lovely. I can picture it all, and feel it all, perfectly.

  7. I love the last stanza. It's a wonderful and so dreamlike.

  8. So many *feels* in this poem, Buffy. Thank you for sharing. =)

  9. Beautiful memory Buffy! I can visual this dream, semi-surreal experience for my Dad just passed away yesterday, thanks.

  10. Thank you, all, for your kind comments--much appreciated!

  11. Very, very, sweet poem. I love "The light flickers and our parents return." I relate to this lovely poem. Thanks for this.

  12. I was sitting next to you watching the home movie. My parents made our home movies into VHS. Will the equipment be around when I am ready to view them? Those movies mean more when the players are gone. Special memories.

  13. wonderful poem Buffy so much felling in this poem that we can all relate to in our own lives thank you for sharing these moments of your life with us

  14. Loved this poem. We did not have a video camera growing up but I have felt this same way going through boxes of old pictures with my siblings.

    The last stanza especially made me smile. Thanks for that image!