The Silent Season
from I Wanted the Moon 1999 Helena School District Arts Plus Program Poetry Anthology. My “Teacher Poem” is titled “The Silent Season.”
Stolen summer sun radiates from the
Tobacco Roots to the Madison.
Hay looks like baked bread in the field.
Yellowstone’s Old Faithful
may not be observed until spring:
The road is closed.
Elk have invaded Mammoth.
Sulfur scent and small geysers
Thomas Moran surely painted
fading gold and faint sunshine on
canyons in this: the silent season.
From Chinook-Wind Poetry Anthology, 2000, Chinook-Wind Poetry Center-Great Falls, Montana. Three poems were included for this anthology and I read at the poetry performance on April 2, 2000, at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art: “A Dream,” “An American Dream,” and “Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Gray snags her memory.
Blue brilliant sky fades to gray.
Red door squeaks as she closes it.
Gray street lures.
Brown door invites her inside.
Orange, maroon, gray words collide.
Black lab pulls her heart and memory:
“We had a black lab on the farm!”
Milky blue eyes cloud
to faded gray.
Then words are gone.
To a Grandmother, Adeline, I Never Knew
Awarded Honorable Mention for the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Contest for my non-rhyming poem, “To A Grandmother, Adeline, I Never Knew.” This poem is the basis for Destination: Butte, Montana. Honorable Mention for Unrhymed Poetry in 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition.
Although he never spoke of you
that scene in the film, Dr. Zhivago,
had to be my father at seven
at the window crying for his mother.
Icy windows, too, existed in Butte, Montana,
in 1924 with no arms adequate to quell his lost warmth.
You, born in Swansea, Wales, should
have been born in Butte except
for an urgent visit by your mother
to your grandmother, Margaret, so ill
in Swansea. So that photograph
with you in a frilly dress is stamped: Swansea, Wales.
Back to Butte to live in
a similar mining town with
an oasis at the Columbia Gardens.
Free fare on Thursdays—your family
thought the grounds were grand. The
photo of you all with wine glasses on
the familiar Gardens’ wooden tables.
Your church, the Welsh Presbyterian,
still stands (a lovely gift shop) on Aluminum Street,
but I picture you there reciting poetry in the
Saint David’s Day competition. I feel your
Your upswept hair and high-collared blouse
were attractive on a working girl at Madame Paumie’s
cleaners on Galena Street—then you met and married a miner.
Three daughters were born, then, my father, named Danny
after your darling husband. The fifth child knew you
for only one month before you went.
My father spoke so matter-of-factly
about being raised in the “home” that until the
night of Dr. Zhivago, I never
sensed the depth of his loss.
All above poems ©2015 Colleen C. Hansen, all rights reserved.