A Whisper of Memories
The year is now 1987,
and I’ve just awoke into thought.
Sights and sounds and memories of,
a childhood home from long ago.
Cooked chinese chestnuts,
and yellowing ginkgo leaves.
The tick-ticking of a clock,
and the sweet subtle smell of cedar.
Old logs stacked upon another.
A fireplace made of carved rocks.
The scent of wood and smoke.
The ringing of the phone.
Giant speakers playing Joni Mitchell,
while my mother is softly humming.
My father’s gentle footsteps,
and the thump of the screen door.
Watching from the porch,
as the branches softly strum.
Streams of sunlight dancing….
Morning birds in chorus for the day.
Views of the dogwood,
A towering green magnolia.
An oak I called “Wendy”,
and a silver maple we climbed.
Old wooden floors,
moody dark lamps,
a giant wooden television,
and those funny rabbit ears.
The smell of apples and pastries.
Some fresh brewed coffee.
The scent of my mom…
with a hint of China Rain perfume.
Warmth of a bubble bath,
in a cold claw foot tub.
White puffy clouds pass over the skylight,
and the stark white walls.
Sun, then clouds, then sun, then clouds.
Brother throwing rocks at something he shouldn’t.
Crack, split, thonk…..
sounds of my father cutting the wood.
Piling them neatly,
to prepare for the coming winter.
Mimosa blooms tickling my nose.
The carpenter bees hover.
The wind whistles and hums…
through the bright Autumn leaves.
Fire slowly starting.
Saturday morning cartoons.
Doodling with colored pencils,
and a sleepy dog at my side.
Dark antique furniture.
Abstract pastel paintings.
A baby grand piano….
that only I played.
Kids on bikes,
with everywhere to go,
playing knights or soldiers,
with sticks and rocks and bows.
Mildly sweet honeysuckles,
and bitter grapes on vines.
Making a trail of daisy chains.
Whistling through blades of grass.
The sound of my father’s fiddle.
My mother’s battle with a phone cord.
The creak of the screen door,
and my brother’s silly giggle.
Creosote on the windows.
Enya is now playing.
The smell of a 50’s truck cranking.
I love it when my dad smells of oil.
Giant monarchs bouncing,
and shiny june bugs buzzing.
Nests of fuzzy caterpillars,
and the soothing shrill of the cicadas.
Chicken Divan is cooking.
NPR evening news and Reagan.
The smell of mom’s menthol cigarette,
and a glass of red wine.
Long wooden handmade table.
Dishes properly set.
A heap of fruit salad.
Elbows off or you’re in trouble.
Johnny Carson and Robin Williams.
An echo of laughter.
The light crinkle of my mother’s book.
My father stirring the coals.
Toy cars banging into each other.
A single Alpine mint.
The crickets stopped singing…
a storm is brewing.
A kiss and a hug goodnight,
with an “I love you” to go.
Those creaking dark wooden steps,
up into my cold room.
Hiding under blankets,
talking to Raggedy Anne.
The dark towering antique bed.
Watching out for spiders.
A flash of lightning strikes,
with a shotgun bang of thunder.
Running to find my parents,
watching on the porch in awe.
Back into bed with a shiver…
White comforter with thin lace.
The calming sound of a fan,
and a nightlight keeping the ghosts at bay.
The last moments before sleep,
wishing on a star,
hiding my feet under the blankets,
and dreaming about tomorrow.
-Dedicated to my mother (rest in peace), father and brother: Jean, Terry and Dylan