i was thinking about kindness
relaxed in steaming hot water
before tomorrow’s departure
and compassion the picture
of this attractive young woman
who fell in love with Dad
and Johnnie, Debbie, Lori and Bonnie
all at once we were
immediately adopted
by Anita JoAnne everyone called her JoAnne those around her
always felt welcomed by that name

the suicide of Coralie Rose began to heal
we were about 7, 5, 4 & 3
but what a miracle this mother
gave everything she had
decorated for every holiday
made ever changing creations
delicious and nutritious cuisine
and i can’t think of an instance
where she treated us as anything
other than completely worthy
of love and encouragement
she ice skated with us
on our little frozen pond
in still undeveloped partially
wooded Wyandotte County, Kansas
fell once taking our picture
with a little plastic Kodak
and had to have five stitches
above her right eye
inflicted by the smashed camera

she learned to fly had a
commercial instrument rating

she knew how manage a short runway
Dad was her instructor and made certain
she could recover from anything
every year she raced
in The Powder Puff Derby
women competing in navigation
and piloting skills
over several days
she was a formidable
always gracious and capable contender

their years of soaring together
were the absolute best i think
weather and navigation maps were
standard table fare we all
knew the cloud types and could estimate
distance to ceiling by sight

we were illumined by flight
the characteristics of positive lift
flowing above the wing pulled it
into the sky there was overcast
at 5000 feet but above
nothing but calm crisp bright blue air
all of the learning became lost in it
here the horizon became unlimited
we banked into the wind
left stick and aileron
a little throttle
the sunlit compass ball
tumbling toward our new heading

©John Greenleaf-Maple – text and art 20180422

2 thoughts on “mom

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