Oddments

In search of story


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Connections: August 13.17

My family’s in the garden

the past grows ever green

my mom is in the phlox

most surely, though unseen

her dad in the tomatoes

my green-thumbed Grandpa Mauck

son of North Carolina

whose hills rolled in his talk

Grandma O’Hern in moss roses

her summer’s tried-and-true

her son, my dad, in marigold

(the only flower he knew!)

the dill for an unknown

its air a bit of mystery

but I know it figures somewhere

in my leafy family history

I don’t come (as they say) from money

I come more from dirt

so it’s good to feel them back

in horticultural concert.

 

 

 

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Connections: August 8.17

 My grandma’s tub had feet

and Olympic-pool-sized feeling

her toilet had a chain

that hung down from the ceiling.

More, the bathroom window

was tall and opened wide

so fresh air and scent of train

could cleanse the room inside.

Now I have this footless

peculiarity

someone mean invented

to taunt and bully me.

It can’t be cleaned without

risking tendinitis

when I fold to fit its contours

it gives me rigor mortis.

It’s called a garden tub

a pity and a shame

someone ought to sue

for slandering garden’s name.

The window can’t be opened

the toilet’s in a box

so I reach way back in memory

where my grandma’s bathroom rocks.

 

 

 

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Connections: May 9.17

My grandma had a tiny house

if you take a yardstick measure

but it was huge in other ways:

curiosity and treasure.

The coolest stuff was hid away

but I knew where to find it

and she would let me hold it

and tell the tale behind it.

Now I’m packing up my house

which means, I’m sure you know,

packing up my family

striving to let go.

Memories sneak in everywhere

in closet and in drawer

one thing leads to another

as I’m sorting on the floor.

You will understand, I’m sure,

I hyperventilate

when I note the Christmas card box:

45 for $1.98!

And thus do different eras

re-tell themselves to me

as I wrap the family flotsam

as if crown jewelry.

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Connections: April 29.17

I have been in an alternate universe

a place I have been before

where perpetual motion is rampant

and parents a mere twoscore.

There’s soccer and softball and homework

lives lived digitally

two kids, two cats, two dogs,

and Grandma (that would be me).

Mom in a sling and Dad far away

a convergence of planning and chance

with non-stop pre-teen rhythm

and flying by the seat of our pants.

I lived in a place such as this

in a dim and distant past

when I had an abundance of pep

and my hormones hadn’t lapsed

but now my creaky bones

move far less supplely

and I don’t know when I’ll recover

from the onslaught of energy.

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Connections: February 22.17

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERABack in the seventies

when I had little boys

Playmobil ranked among

their favorite toys.

Beloved childhood pieces

tenderly packed away

in case other little fingers

might some day want to play.

And play they did!

And added more

turning Grandma’s house

into Playmobil store.

Little fingers again grown

it’s the same old story

and I am determined

to re-box inventory.

I won’t know

that next generation

but I hope they will hear of me

at the next exhumation.

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