Poem: Testimony

Copyright 2009 by Nora Hall Burton

The first day of Spring and I celebrate

by clearing the dead branches…They lay

scattered in mute testimony.. Never the

gardener that you were I find the flower

beds that you built and planted while I

lay stretched out in the summer sun.

I laughed then when you told me that the

flowers would bring happiness to someone

even if you weren’t here and in a way

because of them you are still here.

I remember that day because you spoke

of the Spanish town of Guernica that

Hitler bombed…A town of 5,000 then

that was destroyed for no reason other

than a training run…I thought of the

children of that town and I pictured

a child of two with curly brown hair

standing at the window with

her mother pointing at the airplanes

as they flew overhead, as the bombs fell.

I wondered if any of the people of the town

had planted flowers

and if they bloomed after the

town had been destroyed.

With the flowerbed cleaned out

I saw in the spot that just a few

weeks before had been cold and

barren the first flower of spring,

smiling in triumph and dressed in

hope as bright as the sun.

The surrounding trees

raised their branches

like arms crossed in silent

celebration grateful for

beginning again.

Nora Hall Burton is a mother of seven and grandmother of two. She is a widow, having been married for 33 years. She teaches young children, and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Fine Arts – Creative Writing program at Murray State University in Kentucky.


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  • Emily C. says:

    This is a very nice, well done poem. Simple and clean. We are able to grasp immediatley how you have found hope again. As the workings of time to re-invent nature, nature and time it seems have worked to help the writer re-invent themselves after a devastating loss. Hope to see more poems from you.