The morning, the light

I have been finding my light in the morning now, more than ever. Summer is leaving, and I will miss her so much. But, fall comforts me with her changing colors and shortened days. When I am happy, when I am peaceful, my memories, emotional and deep, surround me like the warmth of the sun. I struggle to understand why thoughts of my grandmother’s garden, my aunt’s dinner table, my father’s lessons or my grandfather’s chair come to mind. Let me explain. The feelings took my lifetime to arrive. Feelings of acceptance and connection with the people who formed me, who cared for me. We love the same flowers, we love the same children. Misconceptions are gone. I can turn away, when someone is unkind. I can reject any words of degradation, even if they come from within. This marrying of past and present is what I have been waiting for, and I have found it with the light and in the morning.


The Patron Saints of Mercy

Thinking, this day, of the child saint
I met in St. Martinville. She reminded
me of St. Therese as she placed a white
rose at my feet. A parrot called Jean Batiste,
who lived with his owner, an aging bartender,
in a trailer behind the bar. His cage nested among
daily news and Miller Lite. And my dear Evangeline
who touched me so. Her branches outgrown and poignant
as she waited along the riverbank until her body became earth.

When I was young, there was never enough.
Now, forgiveness is abundant. It shows itself
in a round, seed-filled watermelon.
In the dropped petals of flowers that remind me
of grandmother’s garden, mother’s Forsythia.

The present is bright, lush, and certainly mine.

My dream self gazed at her mirrored self.
She was young, not beautiful, but happy.

Susan Ward Trestrail, 2017

Fiction Writing Prompt

Good Morning!

I get outside to shoot nearly every morning when I see fog rising over the water. I can see this by looking out my bedroom window. Yes, I know how lucky I am. Today, these photos are in somewhat of a sequence. The sun rises in a matter of minutes. The photos tell the story of its awakening. It is a great opportunity for creative writing.

Prompt: Imagine that you woke up in a foreign country. The last thing that you remember is being at a party with your spouse. He/she is not in bed with you. You are in a tiny cottage. There are no houses or cars around the cottage. You take a walk on the path around the house and watch the sunrise. What do you do next?

Happy Writing! Remember to write at least 500 words. Don’t be afraid to write badly.



Roses and Strawberry Jam

“Now, you’ve done it,”
My dear aunt cried.
“The flowers were too near
the dish, now we have petals
in the jam.” We looked at her
mouths filled with stolen rhubarb
and clover, crooked smiles–hair
unkempt. Her head shook, lips
turned up, slightly, in pity.

We were free-thinkers with rough
edges, raised by a beatnik and
ex-debutante. “Unfortunate,” blew
into linen napkins, presumably
out of earshot, like a sneeze or an
afterthought. My sister, the blonde
one, crawled over red and white
leather pumps. A casual shoe
perfect for afternoon tea.

How hard it had been, since her
mother died. A deathbed promise,
but the children, like wild, little
beasts. A spoonful of chicken salad
fell on her demi-plate. A single sugar
cube handed to the baby. The fallen
rose petals circled the delicate white
bowl, which impeccable displayed
her prized and delicious strawberry jam.

Susan Ward Trestrail, 2017

Reading Pinsky and Remembering


It is a pleasure and an honor to accept your childhood. I am lucky to have literary and artistic memories to draw on for my art. Flowers were a big part of my home life. My mother, grandmother and aunts all had spectacular gardens. Lately, I have had time and space to reflect on those memories. Here are some ramblings that have come from that bit of space.

Ordinary Days

I’ve come to savor the scent of flowers,
especially forsythia. It reminds me
of my mother’s garden on summer days.
If not for rusted nails, shoes and socks 
found on wooden floors and mending bins.

Old women with painted-on lips and settled
cheekbones, smelled of tonic and lime. 
her nails dug in, as she sang a verse...
“Oh, what a gal.” Her feathered hat tickled
my cheek a little, but I wasn’t scared.

Chicken salad with grapes and slivered
almonds heaped on dinner rolls and bone
china. The kind with pink and green blooms
etched in white. Her lime-woolen suit smelled
a little of moth balls and dusty rosewater.

Cocktails, jazz riffs, separate tables/beds.
I liked cummings, his verse seductive and
short. My father’s books. His life. Stacks
upon stacks of days, dust that clouds and 
settles on my own wrinkled pages.

Susan Ward Trestrail,

It’s Just Two Pigeons

DSC_0351.JPGI love this photo. I don’t think that many people share my love of pigeons, or even my like of them. However, this is a really cool photo.

I am a writer AND a photographer. I am not certain when the time actually arrived when I could say both of those things in one sentence. Here is another one. I am an artist.


What does this have to do with two pigeons? Well, it is about the mundane and the spectacular. I spend most of my days looking for something spectacular. Most days, I find the mundane.

These two pigeons look like they could be one and an ominous reflection. They could be friends, or they could be partners. Nonetheless, I looked for a way to take an unique photo of them. I think I found it.

So, it may just be two pigeons. And, you may or may not like pigeons, but if you are an artist, you must look for something spectacular each and every day.

Happy Writing!