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Early Memory
Sherry Hughes Beasley

The sun burnished my mother’s hair
the copper of pennies, and the breeze whipped
her skirt around me like a cocoon
lined with blue flowers that day
we walked in the yard, her hand wrapped
around mine in a total embrace.
I was four or five and she was talking to me
in that easy manner she used with friends, as if
I was a grown-up too, as if I was her best friend
When, all of a sudden, something made me look
up – the sun was behind her head
and she was smiling down at me and I knew
that my mother was an angel, not like the fake angels
in movies but a real angel, like the ones God sends
to earth to care for people -
In the clear, warm sunshine
of the clear May afternoon, I strolled with the phenomenon
that was our angel
to the back door of our red brick ranch house
in the suburbs of Roanoke, Virginia
as, on the long, white clothesline on the hill behind us,
my calico and gingham dresses the angel had washed
and pinned to the line that morning, gleamed
in every place she touched.

© by Sherry Hughes Beasley.
Used with the author’s permission.



Sherry Beasley is the author of three collections of poetry, The Lives of Women, Luna Violetta, and The Miller’s Daughter. She has been awarded more than a dozen poetry prizes, including the Edgar Allen Poe Memorial Award from The Poetry Society of Virginia. Sherry has studied creative writing at Stanford University Online Writing Studio and under the tutelage of William Harmon and the late A.R. Ammons. Currently, she lives in the piedmont of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, where she is also a jewelry designer and artisan. She has two grown sons and three grandchildren.


Post New Comment:
Ginny C.:
Nice one!
Posted 05/07/2014 05:07 PM
Donna Pflueger:
Beautiful and poignant. I will be reading it to my 91 year old mother for Mother's Day. Thank you.
Posted 05/07/2014 04:58 PM
Loved this!
Posted 05/07/2014 10:30 AM
How beautiful! Anyone who has a mother still living, cherish her and be kind. We all do the best we can.
Posted 05/07/2014 09:02 AM
I wept.
Posted 05/07/2014 02:05 AM
Ross Kightly:
Even those of us who don't believe in angels know the difference between the genuine article and the fake! Obvious which category this most heartfelt and loving poem fits into. My own long-dead Mum might have pretended to be a bit embarrassed by the thought but she would have recognised its justice. Thank you Sherry, from me and my Mum.
Posted 05/07/2014 01:35 AM

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