Tag Archives: memories

Red LikeYoung Girls’ Cheeks

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

Rosy-red crab apples lay
on the ground in front of us
as we walked in the chilled air
near a forested lake.

Fifty years ago
the same red crab apples
were picked up
by a college student
as she strung them
on a string around her neck.

She knew this was a beginning
of the path she would follow,
a path centering herself to the earth.

This also was a period of darkness
where a string of blackness
would catch her in a trap.

But there were people
like the shepherd mother
of the small dorm where she stayed
who taught her
there were good and trustworthy people:

apples that lay at our feet,
red like young girls’ cheeks
in the chilled fall air.

7 Comments

Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, poems, Poetry

A Wrinkle In Time in Delta, Colorado

Photograph by Ethel Mortenson Davis
Essay by Thomas Davis

A Wrinkle in Time.jpg

When I was six years old and living in Delta, Colorado where I was born, Saturday matinees (mostly Westerns) were the highlight of those weeks when my Mom allowed me to join a few score squirming, and sometimes screaming, depending on the movie, kids at the Egyptian Theatre downtown.  Ethel took this photograph in Delta during our trip to Western Colorado, and we both had a good laugh.  What a movie, A Wrinkle in Time, to be showing as we drove through town!

Now on the national historical registry, the Egyptian is still standing proud on Main Street, a relic, with contemporary relevance since it is still showing first run movies, that not only is a time capsule to my early life and Delta and the nation’s earlier days, but also travels across the Atlantic Ocean to King Tut’s land, illustrating an all-Egyptian craze that lasted in the United States for only a short period of time.

We first parked in front of the theatre on the way to lunch with Delta friends, Linda and Terry Brown at Western Colorado’s best Mexican restaurant, Fiesta Vallarta.  Then, on the last day, as we drove to Grand Junction and the long trek over Loveland Pass toward Wisconsin and home, we stopped for a minute so that Ethel could take this photograph.

We could almost feel Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which transporting us through the universe by means of tesseract, the fifth-dimensional folding of the fabric of space and time in Madeleine L’Engle’s wonderful novel.  I could still feel myself squirming in my plush theatre seat as the lights blinked, signaling the start of the movie, while the rest of Delta moved around in 1950 white Chevrolets and went about shopping at my Dad’s corner grocery store or sipping ice cream sodas at the fountain just a few doors down from the store.  At the same time I could feel the history of my two grandmothers living in Delta, the best-friendship of my Dad’s sister Viola and my mother, and then the marriage between my mother and Dad as they prepared to live in a tent on the Gunnison River just below my Grandma Davis’s place.

All of the people I just mentioned are gone now, except for my mother in a Grand Junction nursing home at 92, leaving a hole in my life and so many memories:  Of my cousin and I having a pie eating contest that got us into trouble, the first time I slid into a base during a baseball game at Delta Elementary, my Grandma Bauer all excited when I hooked a big catfish and lost it on the banks of the Gunnison River not a quarter mile from town.

All of this as Ethel and I maneuvered around, trying to get the best angle for Ethel’s photograph, driving a Toyota Corolla with more computer power than existed in anybody’s imagination at the time the Egyptian Theatre was built.  There is a story of America in the old building, of a time when the nation was building its middle class out of the completion of World War II, and, of course, of today when the Middle East is in turmoil and our lives sometimes seem out of control in the whirl of progress and national and world events and miscalculations.  Still, there is the Egyptian on Delta’s Main Street, just where it has been for so many decades.

Ethel and I loved Western Colorado and our visit to spring.  It is still winter in Sturgeon Bay, although the sun is shining.  Perhaps the fifth-dimension is folding again, and we will see a totally different, and hopefully brighter, tomorrow that has not yet been.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Essays, Ethel Mortenson Davis, Photography, Thomas Davis

In Memory of Kevin Michael Davis

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

drawing by Ethel Mortenson Davis

7 Comments

Filed under Art, Art by Ethel Mortenson Davis, Ethel Mortenson Davis

The Best Gatherer

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

I remember you best
at blackberry time:

The best gatherer
of our time
who could out-pick
the Champion Blackberry King
with his shining buckets
and mounds upon
mounds
of the gems
shining
like your shining
eyes were,
dark, almost black.

I remember you best
when I go
into the woods
to gather berries,
reaching out
for the shining black
eyes
and seeing your brown,
strong hands again,
coming home
to show us
your treasures.

How good it felt
this blackberry time.

9 Comments

Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

The Rhyming of Love

a love poem to Ethel by Thomas Davis

Our fathers died, and then your mother left
And took a train ride to her resting place.
There are no words for senses left bereft
The moment living left our son’s kind face.

Our love was glory when it first began to bloom.
We walked brown hills and felt the sky breathe light—
You took your hesitant, unlikely groom
And gave him more of life than was his right.

The days of work and turmoil, gladness, stress,
Have slowed us down and made us feel our years
As separateness has ground against the press
Of love through joyous days and bitter tears.

From gnarling roots of memories and time,
Love forges symphonies of changing rhyme.

9 Comments

Filed under Poetry, Thomas Davis

Sonnet 40

by Thomas Davis

The doctor, looking down at him, her voice
as soft as early springtime rains: “I hate
how cancer takes a person, steals their choice,
and makes inevitable their certain fate.”
She paused, a stranger. Then she shook her head.
“He was extraordinary. You can tell.”
She gently touched his clutched-tight hand, the bed…

“He asks the nurses how they are. The hell
he’s going through, he wants to know if they’re okay.”
She sighs and looks at Ethel, then at me.
“This ward is tough. Old cancer never plays,
but does his business, never lets us plea

for mercy.” Silence. “Fighting him is hard.
He leaves us memories, our lives in shards.”

25 Comments

Filed under Poetry, Thomas Davis

White Delirium

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

Oh,
how the white delirium
has set in me.

Memories ache in my throat.
Sweetness stains my mouth.

I cannot forget
your unfamiliar eyes
that cried out to me,

the end of us!

2 Comments

Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry