Poetry of Kansas

The Lilacs Mother Planted

I listened by the doorstep as the evening shadows
While from the distance floated the faint tinklings
    of a bell,
The night hawk circled overhead then dropped
    straight down below,
The same as when I first lived there, in childhood,
    long ago.
The trees have grown much taller in the yard
    where once I played,
And now looked so majestic in their summer robes
And near the walk the lilacs flung their fragrance
    to the air
The lilacs that my darling mother planted for us
Ah, yes, what tender memories are forced on us
Who leave our home in boyhood days and then
    return grown men;
To seek again the playgrounds which in youth
    we loved so well,
The shade beneath the apple tree, the old pump
    at the well,
The woodpile, and the cellar door, the dear old
    blacksmith shop,
The granary that held the corn with martin box
    on top.
But dearer than the playgrounds was the perfume
    in the air,
From those dear lilac bushes that my mother
    planted there.
Oh, sweet and fragrant lilac, the one she loved so
Thy fragrance brings to memory sad thoughts I
    cannot tell;
Sweet lullabies of childhood sung at the evening
By mother clasping closely the one she loved the
A voice that gently whispered sweet words of
    love to me,
A face so kind and gentle, a heart with love so free;
Still yet my heart throbs feel them, still yet I see
    them there,
When lilacs that she planted with fragrance fill
    the air.

__Ed Blair.

Sunflower Siftings
Ed Blair
(Boston: The Gorham Press. 1914)
Pages 173-174

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April 23, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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