Vox Populi

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Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer: Embracing the Mess

For my son

 I didn’t know you used to straighten 
   the shelves at the toy store in town
     until tonight, when my friend told me
you used to go there to play after school
   while hanging out with your friends, and then,
     to her shock, you’d put everything away.
No other kids ever did that, she said.  
   But that was your nature—
     you who kept rows of mechanical pencils 
in perfect lines on your desk.
   You who ate one thing at a time on your plate.
     Sometimes I pull out memories of you
and scatter them all over the house—
   memory of smelling all the spices in the spice drawer, 
     memory of building pirate ships out of couches, 
memory of playing Legos on the floor. 
   Setting up the drum set in the doorway. 
     Playing chase to Krishna Das before bed. 
They’re everywhere, these memories. 
   I don’t even try to stack them away 
     in the closet, color coded, neatly folded,
though that is in my nature, too. 
   I like it best when the memories are everywhere— 
     and I stumble over the ghosts of wooden train tracks, 
trip on the spot where you used to do push-ups, 
   fall all over the memory of your ski gear, neatly laid out,
     and there, on the piano, I remember it well,
your music spread out next to mine. 

Copyright 2022 Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer co-hosts the Emerging Form podcast on creative process, Secret Agents of Change (a surreptitious kindness cabal) and Soul Writer’s Circle. Her next collection, All the Honey, comes out in April, 2023.

12 comments on “Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer: Embracing the Mess

  1. Sally Warrington
    October 21, 2022

    Rosemerry, thank you so much for sharing even painful thoughts and doing it so helpfully and with shining class. You soar, word woman, and take us with you. I treasure you. Sally

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rosemerry
      October 21, 2022

      Sally, thank you. Thank you, friend, for all the ways I’ve felt your support. For years!! I am grateful for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa Zimmerman
    October 21, 2022


    Liked by 2 people

  3. matthewjayparker
    October 20, 2022

    An elegy indeed

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anne Brown
    October 20, 2022

    Beautiful tribute Rosemerry! Thank you for sharing! We all have precious memories of someone we loved and lost!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rosemerry
      October 20, 2022

      Thanks, Annie. Yes–those memories, how they weave through us and become us as we carry the love light of our beloveds forward

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Shelley Boehling
    October 20, 2022

    I find memories of my sister music and song
    and cookies and marshmallow cream fudge. She will always be in my laughter and in my love for for others. ❤️Thank you, Rosemerry, for your beautiful poem that made me think about these things! Once again, I find my eyes leaking , but love is worth it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Vox Populi
      October 20, 2022

      Thank you, Shelley, for this lovely response.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rosemerry
      October 20, 2022

      Love is worth it. Amen. These lists of memories, they are such intimate, personal and universal expressions of love.

      Liked by 1 person

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