Today is Deed Day for the Gundlach Bundschu winery. Last year, in honor of the day, I republished the poem which took first place in their poetry contest in 2011. It was in honor of the family’s history, their growth, and an ode to all farmers, really. This year, I’ll go back to the poem that took third place in 2010. It is a more personal poem written about my experience adjusting to life as a stay-at-home mom and about tapping into the memories associated with their wine. Happy Deed Day, Gundlach Bundschu! The excerpt below was previously published in 2011 as “Poetry in Motion.”
It was about a year and a half ago when I first decided to “put myself out there.” Writing again…publically…as in let-someone-I don’t-know-read-my-thoughts. I hadn’t written anything creatively in years. Not since the tumultuous relationship of my 20s with the distant artist type. But I found the right catalyst.
My 2 yr old daughter was watching Elmo, my 3 month old son was sleeping. Browsing Facebook (a SAHMs only social outlet some days) I came upon a poetry contest that was being held by Gundlach Bundschu, one of our favorite wineries in Sonoma. The history of this estate vineyard is amazing. Some of my best memories in Sonoma are at Rhinefarm so it was easy to find inspiration.
I reflected on our visits there. Newlyweds, no responsibilities, fine wine, blue teeth. Now, we were lucky to get to open a bottle of their wine and remember… I figured I had about 15 minutes so I knocked out a few stanzas (the 152 word limit) and would revisit it when the fog cleared from another sleepless night. A few tweaks later, I sent it off. What could it hurt?
It didn’t hurt anything. Instead, it healed. It reminded me that there was a me before diapers, nightfeeds, dishes, and dustpans. A me that was an okay writer once upon a time. A me that could capture a sentiment in words, even if only for myself. I received third place in the contest, but really I received much more than that. So here it is, an ode to Gundlach Bundschu, to wine, to my kids, my husband…and to me.
Remove a swirl
Of crimson foil,
Exhaling from another day’s toil
A sigh of relief
The cork releases
Oh, what a sound; my joy increases
What is the mood?
Stem or stemless?
My turn to pose a question, endless
One last check on
No one stirring, no one weeping
A splash of ruby
Entices with its luscious smell
The lights are dimmed
The table set
Reminding us not to forget
The early days
We frolicked ‘tween
The weighted fruit and rusted leaves
Golden sun, swirling red
We let the warmth
Go to our heads
And now we have
Just our memories,
A taste of days we seldom see
Days of freedom
Days of yore
I smile at the wine he pours
Close my eyes,
Velvet fruit to savor
There is nothing like the Gundlach flavor
So, tonight we will
Cherish our Sonoma escape
Swept away until our children awake