Wooden doors, stained - beyond
peeling Kelly green paint…
chipped, splintered wood
slivers to bare feet – as a child runs
Next to giant yellow pillars
stands a box of metal – each morning
bottles sing as they meet side by side
a milkman waves to the child
Crooked steps where marbles roll
children sit side by side cheering
as if colors - rolling marbles -
as if they too were alive
children clap as color touches
Green shrubs above a child's head
high enough to hide within, near
red beans thriving on thorns...
one yank below a single thorn, now
just a vacant twig.
Plastic dishes hold colored beans of
red, water coated with mud - for a pie...
sitting Indian style a child
spills dirt on crooked steps.
Those rose bushes grew high
collecting bees near chipped green
paint, made some children sneeze
some fearful of a hive...
small hands rubbed raw – skin as
So large a world around the young,
so grand a simple place becomes
when life slips by, recalling
little things, like golden handles
on stained wooden doors.
Still hear church music play.
Grandma had to entertain the
neighborhood... Mama, beyond her
wooden door sometimes screamed
louder, over God’s prayers.
Never snipped a red rose - if God wasn't
on the radio...or dared to cause
a vine to lose color for a pie.
Mama swore about chopping down the
roses near the milk box –
she never did…
Fifty years since Mama laid flagstone from
Vermont, side by side in front of
our front porch…
age has lifted up its color,
ice and snow cracked perfect
slabs of slate... Mama placed beneath
earth now twenty five years since
that dreadful day
The earth moved those pillars,
leaving memories of childhood.
Another fifty years may pass...one
child will tell stories of naked vines,
while God preached - she created pies.