“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

11.20.2009

Sassafras, Ginger, My Grandmother's Porch: I Walk Through a Dream

A tale tonight of autumn roads invisible beneath golden leaves,
a summertime shadow still with me in a dream,
the white autumn sun as relentless as July's;
the shadow dancing before me as I walked
the white sandy road between my childhood home
and my grandmother's house,
falling into nothingness as I topped the hill
and evening awaited on the other side.

I wore cowboy boots
and my 3rd-grade brown checked gingham dress,
trimmed in ginger rickrack,
and when I reached the hilltop
the last of the sun's rays made that rickrack sparkle,
ginger & cinnamon & copper rays flashing behind me
the moon and stars ahead.
No leaves on this side of the hill,
just the sand of the road, lit by moonlight,
my grandmother's house halfway down, to the left.
The night was summer here and my boots too hot,
so off they came and I felt the heat of the sand under my feet,
the heat of the day released at last into the cool of the night.

The smell of sassafras,
the chinaberry tree looming dark behind her driveway,
the sound of her rocking chair on the screened-in porch.
The darkness of the night,
the path catty-cornered through her yard to the stairs.
The quiet of the night and it was autumn again,
the trees losing leaves in the sudden wind,
my grandmother's laughter, the ka-thump of her chair.
A chair for me also that I knew to be blue
though its color was hidden from view.
I rocked and watched the leaves.
she is watching

10 comments:

  1. if... scratch that. WHEN you start your gallery, i will come all the way from illinois to see it. it was an honor to have you share your all encompassing bucket list on my blog. thank you.

    and how coincidental that you should visit my blog. i have seen your profile picture around a lot on many blogs {elk's and beth's especially} from comments you leave, but never took the time to click over and see your space until very recently. and when i got here, i was very inspired by what i saw. so i am thrilled that you stopped by mine. thank you for that, too.

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  2. That's really beautiful--I like the imagery in particular because you describe the vision in your head so well. Very well done!

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  3. You are blessed with this recall I envy so much.
    Your attention to details all the time is incredible. I was there. So there.
    Thank you xo

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  4. Beautiful memories~ As always, your words are poignant perfection. xx Vicki

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  5. what wonderful memories ...
    gingham and rickrack, warm sun and moonlight, I might linger here a while ...
    If I knew what sassafras smelled like I'm almost sure i could smell it.
    Thanks for sharing this dreamy memory
    xo

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  6. Debi, can I come crawl inside your mind, your memory, for a little while? Just a little while? It is such a beautiful place.

    love you
    xoxoxo

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  7. oh you are my muse in every way :) the photo...is heaven and such a beautiful montage of rich earth color. and your feet. i love you feet. (nothing kinky in that:) i have memories myself that can reach right out and grab me in the present. i love these experiences. like a chance to 'do it again'.
    xox

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  8. oh these memories you speak of - so beautiful. i can feel that sand under my own feet on a summers day and feel the autumn breeze too, watching the leaves fall out front my own grandmothers porch while i swing in the porch swing every once in while hitting against the house. (i had a brown gingham dress in 3rd grade too, it was one of my favorites)

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  9. I have no words for this post. Instead, won't you reread Jamie's comment and allow me a "ditto."? Thanks.

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