Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Trellis Gate

artist John George Brown

There is a little girl
in one corner of my brain,
forever swinging on the gate
at Grandma's
in the falling dusk.
Behind me,
in the little cottage,
the lights are on.
Inside are my grandparents,
and safety,
and normalcy.
I peek through
the window
and I want to be 
inside with them
more than anything.
But I dont feel entitled
to open the door
and enter.
I wait to be invited in.

Back on the gate,
- there is the scent of roses -
I am waiting for
the Big People to come
and take me to
that Other Place
where I am trying to survive
the drinking, the shouting, 
the violence.

I am trying to figure out
just where it is,
in this bewildering world,
that I belong.

The trajectory of that arc
will carry me deep
into the  passageways of pain
and out the other side.

I see her, still,
four years old,
in the falling dusk,
swinging on the gate
at Grandma's,
back when it all

Yay! It's Kim's first prompt at Poets United's Verse First and the topic is Fences.

When I think of fences, it is the white picket fence with a rose covered trellis in front of my Grandma's small cottage at 364 Christleton, that springs to mind. Grandma looked after me when I was little while my parents were at work. 

On this one day, they were late in coming, and my grandparents didnt know where I was - they thought I was playing at a neighbor's. But I remember feeling like an invisible child, (though to them I was not, they cared for me wonderfully), who didnt belong anywhere, because of the angst I lived in. Grandma's house was the lit beacon of my childhood, all that was warm and safe and reliable.


  1. Sometimes swinging on the gate enveloped in rose fragrance is just where we belong.

  2. Sherry, I LOVE the picture you paint, the rise and fall, the ebb and flow of color and shadow and light. So nostalgic, evoking pictures from my past. Thank-you for sharing this.

  3. Ah, what a vivid word picture. I can see that child too in all her innocence, not knowing yet that there will be many fences to hurdle. So often I think young children feel invisible in some settings. I am glad this was not true with you at your grandmother's.

  4. A gate can close you in or set you free, very moving piece.

  5. Great portrayal of that riding the fence feeling. I fear children must do it more than others. The need for safety may keep us there for a long time,


  6. I see that little girl. You have painted quite a picture, a scene most of us would love to inhabit, if just for a time.

  7. I see that little girl. You have painted quite a picture, a scene most of us would love to inhabit, if just for a time.

  8. This has such a dream like quality to it--and I felt your little girl so clearly--wonderful piece!

  9. I think this is a wonderful poem, Sherry. You took me right into your experience with simple, telling words.

  10. Beautifully written, Sherry, and so poignant. In some ways, I was that little girl, too.
    Luv, K

  11. great narrative. i found it very poignant as well :-)

  12. You took us right to that place, Sherry. Thank goodness for your grandparents.

  13. Lovely....'invisible child'...!...aha, you've been a poet from the very beginning. I loved those childhood memories...esp, swinging on the trellis gate!!:)

  14. Love this narrative poem, takes me back to my own childhood when I spent summers with my grandparents. Lovely poem!

  15. It's always so interesting when we think back to our childhood. The way we remember the event and the way it really happened often differ!

  16. Gosh. I can imagine you on the gate waiting and returning there again and again. A gate! How symbollic! But it is swinging and not locking the narrator here or there. It makes me wonder what Grandmother was like that the narator had to wait for the invitation.

  17. Please check your inbox, Sherry. I sent one mail yesterday and re sending it once again...:)

  18. Sherry,

    Your poem brought me right back to happy, carefree childhood days spent at my grandmother's house in the Northern Ireland countryside. Long summer evenings enjoying time away fromn the regular confinement of city living...


    Thank you for visiting my Blogs Sherry. I have just retuned from France and catching-up with routine here at home:)


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