Monday, October 1, 2018




I walked today upon the often trod path
its wooden slats once so comforting to me
in a time where my world had turned on its end
and I was searching for an answer to the pain
The vista surrounding me—a comfort for
my aching soul
I remembered standing near the railing
looking down at the scene below in the water
of the comings and goings of the sea birds
for whom this was home
and I was an interloper along with the
massive buildings and boats clogging
their access to the shoreline
A memory pierced my thoughts
of one particular day before I lost him
and before I had lost hope of
ever seeing him in his old self --
when I wandered onto the connecting
boardwalk with tears ready to be shed
and gazed into the depths of blue gray water
below me — hoping for a way to get through
the misery and praying for an answer that
would make him whole again
No answer came and I didn’t know it then
but the bubble of the dream we had together
was soon to pop and its pieces would scatter
as the ashes must have done when the Coast Guard
placed them into the depths of that bay in New Jersey
on a chilly October day when they handed me the flag
under which they had buried him and a framed map
of the place of the ash’s burial
But today was warm and sunny as spring finally
emerged from under its winter blanket
and I was able to walk the path twice
re-exploring the new brick part near the
restaurants where happy strangers
took advantage of this first day of fine weather
And I was thankful that though it is almost four years
that he is gone, my legs are stronger and my heart
has been patched enough to enjoy the day and
not to succumb to sorrow as we passed the place
on that path where benches lined the small inlet
where I used to watch the egret as you did
your New York Times puzzle
content to rest as we enjoyed the last moments
of peace — though I was ignorant that they were.
Copyright 2018 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Sometimes you find yourself
in a space where you never
thought you would be
a moment when you
feel a kind of magic and
things feel like they are
touched with glitter
dust in an ordinary time
this exhilaration you feel
cannot be dissected
by an outsider for no one
really knows when it will
happen and suddenly
the boring life you were
leading has spectacularly
turned into a wild experience
and dreams appear and float
in the air as you calmly live
this tiny and momentary thrill
No one knows it is happening
to you yet inside you feel like
a bottle of sparkling water
bursting with happiness
and so much possibility
You have walked into serendipity
that sly operator who grabs
hold of you in a second and
changes a frown to a smile
moving you into a hopeful future.
copyright 2016 by Barbara Ehrentreu


Summer creates an illusion
from which we feel as if a
haze had descended upon us
and everything becomes a
little bit distorted from the
heat and the edge of sanity
that quickly can erupt
And I in my air-cooled life
peer out at the humanity
surrounding me with their
summer clothes, shorts and
bare shoulders and feel no
need to let my skin feel the sun
for the warmth of summer
with its short time span of
outdoor fun is not mine anymore

Once as a young woman, laden
with the trappings of mother
I watched as my offspring clamored
in the sunshine as sprinklers sprayed
rainbows into their lives
and as I grabbed their wet suit bodies
to bring them inside I felt the water
dripping on my dry clothes and
the joy of their cavorting seeped
into my heart as their laughter was
sealed forever in a snow globe
marked summer
where someday I could pick it up
tip it upside down and set it on
the empty space of my life to
view again the sheer joy of childhood
placed next to others of the different
seasons of their lives in an ever growing
set of occasions for happiness.
copyright 2016 by Barbara Ehrentreu


The flower buds rise in front of me
from long thin green fronds
poised to open
about to burst forth with yellow
flowers seen poking from
a precocious one in the crowd
I stand to check it out
moving closer to see it
I have been sipping
my iced vanilla nonfat latte
in the time between appointments
on a bench near Starbucks
alone and alone in my heart

My thoughts ramble in the soft
breeze as I ponder living without you
A separation so painful it is
as if a limb were severed
The bleeding has stopped and
a scar formed over the cut
Yet I imagine you here
sitting beside me on the bench
probably doing the crossword
from the NY Times
on the page you tore

and folded to carry with you
or on your phone as you later did
my imaginary limb there once more
making the world full for me
like the time you were still here
when I felt complete and not
as if I were dangling in the air

But wait the garden speaks to me
“You are a bud waiting to open
and though some of mine have
withered and dried the strong live on”
and I knew I was in
the aura of possibilities.
copyright 2015 by Barbara Ehrentreu


BARBARA EHRENTREU grew up in Brooklyn and moved to Queens. She has lived and taught in Long Island, Buffalo, NY and Westchester, NY as well as a year in Los Angeles, CA. She has a Masters Degree in Reading and Writing K-12. Currently she is retired from teaching and living in Stamford, CT with her family. If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, her first novel, won second prize in Preditors & Editors as Best Young Adult Book for 2011. It was inspired by Paula Danziger for her children's writing workshop at Manhattanville College, and her second novel, After is now available in print. Barbara also writes poetry. She has a book called You’ll Probably Forget Me: Living With and Without Hal, which is a memorial to her deceased husband. Several of her poems are published in the anthologies, World Poetry Open Mic, several international anthologies, Queen, Prompted: An International Collection of Poetry, Beyond the Dark Room, Storm Cycle and Backlit Barbell. Her short screenplay, “The Kiss” won awards at film festivals. Barbara is a regular contributor to the Facebook page: “The Garden of Poetry and Prose” and Motivational Strips. She has a blog, Barbara's Meanderings, and hosts a radio show on Blog Talk Radio, Red River Radio Tales from the Pages, once a month. She is a member of Greenwich Pen Letters and SCBWI.

1 comment :

  1. Beautiful! The grace of your words uplifts and comforts the spirit.