TO CORTNEY IN A NUTSHELL

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Spring, 1987

TO CORTNEY IN A NUTSHELL

What do I say now?
To one grown wiser than the owl
To one much more prepared than I
To meet the crisis and unfold
Bouquets of premature poise
I awakened one morning and gone
Were your toys
Replaced by loud music and
Teenage boys
Too old—too fast, what can I say?
Slow down, catch your breath
Tomorrow’s another day
If you’re looking for me, I’m right behind you
Where I’ve always been
And intend to stay
While you grow up, I grow old
But that’s okay . . . it’s the way
How it is, and how it will stay
So, in other words
No longer will I match wits with you
Or stand in front of mirrors
Facing my fears
I’m tired of false-eyelash
Impressions
And plastic-Jesus resurrections
I’ve gaged my good times
By confessions

And what will you say to me?
If on some dreary, dreaded night
I stumble into your room to say
Good night
But say instead . . .
See how brightly the sun shines
Look at the beams dance on the sill
I see them still
You would say, I like to think
Choosing your words from
Marmalade and mink
I recall a time of great astuteness
Paragraphs billowing with logic
And reason
To all man there comes a season

I must go now
To pick wildflowers
That bloom in the spring
Trundling them off to bed with me
At night—I will sing
A song to dried flora and leaf from
Years past
Memories clinging to yellow paper
Pressed between two pages
It’s outrageous!
Mother! You will gasp.
You have lost your way!
Can that too be salvaged from
These pages?
From these dried and withered
Petals on these pages?
Through crushed and clutched
foxglove, I call
This is not what I intended
No! Not what I foresaw at all

Let us go now you and I
Back to a day we rode wild horses
On wild whims away
I recall the echo of a cry
Muted and muffled sobs
Yes. I recall it all
The shame of that first fall
Recall you squirming in your chair
And watched you flinch when
Fixed in someone’s stare
Like you
I have thumbed my nose in the air
And said those same words
I do not care—I do not care . . .

Yes. I’ve seen the madness
Seen it all
Watched the final curtain
Rise and fall
And with madness only madness
I recall
The gathering of some flowers
Off a wall
Shall I say I’ve rested in the shade
That men like giant elms provide
And dressed myself a dozen times
By candlelight and lied?
So, we’ve all known some affair
And turning to leave our lover
On the stair
Have uttered those words
Shamelessly
“I do not care . . . I do not care.”

Yes. I have known double-padded
Velvet cushions
And tea luncheons down at Wings
All these things and more
And like you – left my dreams
Scattered on the floor
Lying there in fragments
Strewn upon the floor
So, in a nutshell as they say
I have heard the distant drummer
Start to play
And captured just one windy day
When we ran along the beach
On Morro Bay
And when we turned for home
Your eyes I shielded with my hand
So you wouldn’t see the waves
Erase, our footprints from the sand

Do I have the heart
The courage now to say?
This was not what I intended
This was not the way
I always foresaw more
Even when the years hurled by
I never saw an ending
Or imagined a goodbye—
Only days strung together
Like a beautiful strand of pearls
While in my mind, sweet daughter,
You and I remained as girls
And so, I will say in closing
The only truth I know
There is no end to love
No place for it to go
It stays with you forever
Where it bonds with your soul.

Love, Mom

C.M. Turner

2 thoughts on “TO CORTNEY IN A NUTSHELL

  1. So beautiful and heartfelt – every word brings up experiences that some poor souls never get to experience- these words jumped into my heart while reading
    C M Turner certainly has an elequent way to express love.
    Keep these letters coming

    John S. (a fan of your writings forever)

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