Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Such Things that Still the Memory
Just to visit perhaps, in a blink of the eye
(Lord knows I’ve no intentions of staying)…
But to ease myself into that old kitchen of memory;
Smell onions frying,
Beans swelling in the pot,
Mixed with the stale garbage that wafted in the daily heat
from the covered can with green peeling paint,
that always gave its daunting scent as a greeting to all who entered
(I remember well.)
The screen-door, full of clawed holes that let in tiny flies,
which buzzed around in a gray circle,
because that old alley cat (who left this world long ago)
gave meaning to the term caterwauling;
Always someone telling him “hush”
Then the baby wakens from the noise.
South Westmoreland confused those seeking it;
Never getting the name straight.
Turn left at McArthur Park
Pass the Elden Street Church
Where daily, the choir sang their hymns,
In harmony with ever present sirens.
How young we were when we were young
Skin tight on our cheeks
Touched by the sun without a bother.
Bodies firm and unsuspecting
Voices raised in protest of things we now favor.
To go back for a little moment
Dangle my feet in the pool I never found the time to dip in
(Life was too busy)
(What on earth were we doing that was so important?)
And thank that brown eyed boy for saving me,
Even though I seemed to get lost time and time again.
Sounds and scents are vivid reminders
Of images put to rest long ago.
Living takes on new meaning in life’s decline;
Songs bittersweet intone long ago forgotten lyrics,
Tokens of the past, omens of the future,
Carried in the same tattered pocket,
Confused in the memory,
Blessed in the moment of when.