Lois Hjelmstad

Lois Hjelmstad.com

Compassion and courage for the times you need it.

Can you still visit your childhood home? I lost mine when my mother died.

Childhood Home

When I lost my mother
somehow I lost
my childhood home

Father always greets me
at the door—
hat in hand
eager to escape
ready to run

I feel quite sure that if
I could only get inside
I would find her—
by the African violets
near her teacup collection
in the closet still filled
with clothes and gentle scent

Maybe he knows something
I don’t know. . .

(Excerpted from The Last Violet: Mourning My Mother, Moving Beyond Regret, copyright 2002 Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad)

13 Responses

  1. My mom is nowhere to be found in my childhood home, yet everywhere all at once. I’ve only been back once since her funeral, and don’t plan to return–it’s just too painful, even after 7 years. Once again, your writing goes straight to my heart. Thank you!

  2. This is a beautifully evocative piece about your loss. The image of the violets is a lovely, painful metaphor, at one and the same time. When so much poetry can be trite, yours is a fresh expression of the emotion of loss. A true tribute to your mother’s gifts of safety, beauty and love. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. Absolutely lovely piece about what it means to love and lose. I visited my childhood home a few years back, but the current owner didn’t invite me inside. Instead, he let me go into the backyard to examine the orchard and the lawn that I mowed so faithfully every week. xx

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