Sonnet 34

by Thomas Davis

We talked about the birthday cake he’d had
for over twenty years. He couldn’t eat,
but said, I’d eat a bite right now. His mother, glad
to feed his memories, got to her feet
and drove to Rhinebeck for the right supplies,
the afternoon familiar as she whipped and stirred
an angel food and let it slowly rise
into an arabesque of whipped cream whirred
with Marciano cherries, chocolate,
and mother’s love as old as he was on that day.
She brought the cake out with a coffee pot
and beamed to see a smile and sense of play

that fought, a moment, pain and hours of dread
he braved while in the prison of his bed.

Note:Kevin and Tamar’s apartment, where we spent two weeks under Hospice care, is located in Rhinesbeck, NY.


Filed under Poetry, Thomas Davis

19 responses to “Sonnet 34

  1. Scriptor Obscura

    Beautiful, profound, and moving. You truly have a gift. This poem is tinged with an ethereal sadness. Also it is filled with love, and a moment of happiness amidst the pain and sorrow. Thank you so much for sharing of yourself with us today, it takes a lot of courage to do so, and your poem stands as a testament to a mother’s love for her son. This poem is a memorial to your son. In memory we are immortal.
    “To live in hearts we leave behind
    Is not to die.”
    -Thomas Campbell, Hallowed Ground

    “For love is immortality.”
    -Emily Dickinson

  2. SarSaparillameliSSa

    This is so beautiful

  3. Lest you forget, words your son would never fear. He has not gone he is with you here. He walks you days and soothes your nights. He joins your feeling whether plunging depths or soaring heights.
    No matter what you do or say the chains of love bind still in future as they do today!
    God bless you and keep you both strong from one parent to another.

  4. belladonna23

    very touching, and it brings back bittersweet memories. thank you for sharing

  5. No eyes see like those that have lost; no hearts feel loss like those that have lost…support is everywhere but your heart still stings from loss while validating the power and force of ‘love.’ God Bless.

  6. Caddo Veil

    Oh my goodness–this is so beautiful in that never-ending aching way. When I read these sonnets I’m not “there” in your personal picture memories–but I know.

  7. The tenderness of angel food cake (so achingly aptly named in this instance) matched by a mother’s tender love. Powerful.

  8. James Brandon O'Shea

    Sometimes sonnets can be a little jumpy for me because of the rhyme scheme, but you’ve crafted this one well. From line to line it’s smooth, allowing us to focus on the content, which was moving.

  9. I witnessed a similar scene with church friends going through Hospice days with their mother last summer. This is a most gorgeously compassionate and personal post about one of your Hospice experiences, not always easy to share, much less with such wonderful poetry.

  10. The capture of emotion, the technical ability here are both top class.

  11. “as she whipped and stirred
    an angel food and let it slowly rise
    into an arabesque of whipped cream whirred
    with Marciano cherries, chocolate,”

    The details, here, make it. Beautiful.

  12. So beautiful, Thomas… hard to find the right words when reading something this good, and this poignant. It touches the deepest layers of us – that sense of joy spread momentarily over the grief of reality. Just for a moment in time…..

  13. What we mothers will do. Thank you for this …

  14. A poem written straight from the heart methinks.

    Beautiful, sad and yet uplifting in a way


  15. What a beautifully written poem which, quite honestly, defies any words I could muster. Just to say though, there is so much love in them.


  16. So heartwrenching, these loving gestures amidst the heartache. You have done your family proud in this beautiful sonnet, Thomas

  17. How sublimely and yet powerfully this speaks of love’s creativity…the simplest gesture transformed into the greatest gift of all.

  18. I’m speechless at the poignancy of it all.

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