by Ethel Mortenson Davis

The white birches:
Young girls
in long, white dresses,
blackberry eyes
peering out,
laughing at the winter,
peeling their dresses,
with flapping mouths jumping,
swinging in brown grass,
lovers of tall grasses,
hiding in one another’s dresses,

black eyes lost
to racing clouds.
Long, white dresses,
white skins,
lost. . .

in the summer’s


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

12 responses to “Games

  1. You, both, (is that correct English 🙂 ) are so very talented. It’s a pleasure to come here to ‘relax’ ponder and think.


  2. This is beautiful: so vivid and full of vitality, but with an underlying melancholy and the sense that nothing lasts for ever. Your description of birch trees as ‘young girls in long white dresses’ is perfect, and the ones I saw on my (cold) walk with the dog this afternoon were definitely ‘laughing at the winter’. Gorgeous.

  3. fivereflections

    beautifully painted images of the young girls – racing clouds to summer’s edge – oh how i love your description of blackberry eyes!

  4. Lovely poem, images… I must come back later and read this again when I’m not in a hurry – I need to savor your poetry.

    • Okay, more time now to enjoy this… love the “blackberry eyes”. And “left / in the summer’s / games”…. which evokes long-ago images, poignant and wistful. But there is a joyfulness in this memory…. Thank you for sharing such another beautiful poem, Ethel.

  5. Anna Mark

    I really enjoyed reading this poem, too. It speaks to me about innocence, lost innocence and impending winter/experience and suffering…a new kind of wisdom. Thank you.

  6. Scriptor Obscura

    I love the images in this poem, and the way it flows so easily and so gently. What a beautiful poem this is. You are a gifted poet, Ethel. Thank you for sharing this poem with all of us.

  7. I read this once, enjoyed it, felt the sense of melancholy in it.

    Then read Nick’s (gonecycling) comment, went back and read it again and appreciated it even more


  8. Oh this is magical! The mind moves to and fro between birches and girls, now one, now the other, then the two together – and the mood is of innocence and freshness and happiness.
    I hadn’t seen the melancholy until I read the comment from Nick (gonecycling) which both Anna and David picked up on. They are right, but it’s not what grabs me. It’s interesting how a skillful poem can invite different responses, all perfectly valid, and lead the reader on to new thoughts.

  9. Masterful metaphor, birch tree girls…

  10. I love this – its beautiful imagery and the sense of nostalgia it evokes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s