I am writing a poem based on Louise Gluck’s line from “Nostos,” which is also the opening of my memoir I’m really making progress on. So here goes. Check out more poems at Real Toad’s Tuesday Platform.
“We look at the world once, in childhood.
The rest is memory.”
A small chubby foot, bare on the splintered fence, a heave and hoist.
Then my curled fingers reach for the top wooden rung;
wobbling and steadying, I have climbed the outside
of my father’s fence,
the lush expanse of yard all for my eyes to see.
Like a bird.
I bet I see what the swallows and hummingbirds must see.
The flowering crab hangs its pink blossom-laden boughs
low to the earth. Its sweet honeysuckle fills me
and the petals tickle my bare shoulder as the breeze lazes in.
Through the menagerie of blush and branches I can make out
the white dirty hamper of a farmhouse, the purple
of the lilacs slipping in and out of view.
The dirt drive where my sister pedals the Big Wheel in jerky circles.
The screen tent where Little Great Grandma sips lemonade.
I like her. She gave me sour sugary sips out of her
real glass, the ice long melted. She wears a sunhat
with a scarf around the crown every afternoon.
From my perch on the yard’s perimeter I can hear the zip-zip
of the tent’s door as my little sister tumbles in to see her.
My father is somewhere. He is always here. It is the one solid thing–
an unquestionable fact. When we are here on the weekends,
he never leaves us. Read More