It’s an Ambush!

July 21, 2022

THE AMBUSH OF A GOOD BOOK

A good novel is an invasion;
it marches in and you try
to resist, to put it down
but eventually you surrender,
and it burrows every word
into the thickest parts of you,
deploying characters
in an ambush of emotion
so that years later,
you think of them
not as characters at all,
but your own memories
of a life you got tricked
into believing
was your own.

~ Samantha Reynolds

 

Long time readers will know I’ve long been an enormous fan of bentlily, the daily poetry project by Samantha Reynolds. My first post featuring bentlily was on May 12, 2013 and I’m so pleased to report that all this time later, she’s still going strong with daily inspiration, laughs and, well, heart-sprongs, for lack of the right word. Poet I’m not. There is a rumour a book will soon appear. You can bet I’ll be back to report on that. In the meantime, couldn’t resist sharing this gem with you, fellow readers. I know you’ll get it!

Been ambushed by anything special lately?

Long time readers will know I have a special place in my heart for poems and have been inclined to share a stand-out with you now and then. I couldn’t resist gifting you this one.

A secret indulgence of mine has been to tune into the charming, and inspiring, “bent-lily” blog for a poetic perk in my day. Samantha Reynolds is a Vancouver-based entrepreneur and a mother who, desiring to be mindful of the moments in her baby son’s first year, decided to write a poem a day capturing the essence of even the tiniest events. (Some of us just aimed to take a shower!) Samantha has compiled a wonderful archive of poetry, along with other creative thoughts and opportunities, at bentlily.com. My secret is no-more, I encourage you to visit!

And so, I share this little gem with you in honour of Mother’s Day. As a mum of boys, I remember all too well, moments like these. My boys are now long past the toddler stage and it’s my actions causing the embarrassment (they tell me) so I loved this little trip back in time. I marvel at how simply Samantha creates the scene.

We sneak into the elevator before it closes
us with our cart full of groceries
her with just one cloth bag

I blurt out would you mind
if my son presses the button
but her face doesn’t move
so that I wonder if she is deaf
or sad or just as austere as she looks
her hair grey as stone
her potato-coloured raincoat
her sensible shoes
which is when my son
turns to me and asks

does that lady have a bagina

which had been a topic over breakfast
who does and doesn’t
the mention of certain people
making us both giggle

but in the confines of the elevator
and the brittle twitch of her old cheek
his question turns my brain to mud
and I am trapped in the boiling
heat of awkwardness

then the doors open
and with a voice as light as a moth
and a look that absolves me
she says

would you believe
I left it at home.

(Bagina, by Samantha Reynolds, April 27, 2013)

Happy Mother’s Day

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