Memories Remain, Tumbling and Polished by Time

Memories Remain

Back in the days when I was young,

Winters were long and summers

Never seemed long enough to dwell in

Contemplation of the lightening bugs

Captured in Bell jars, holes in the lids

So they could breath. I hated that they died

By morning light, translucence turned to lead.

 

Some winters there were drifts that covered

Bedroom windows, blocking light morning, noon,

Even cold stars at night. In such frigid temperatures,

How could Jesus find me, covered as I was in

Blankets on the bed, knees askew and close to head?

Yes, I’m sure they had it worse in Saskatchewan,

Though once the paper said it was as cold

As surface on Mars, considering wind chill.

 

Thank God there were no dust storms; no plagues of locusts.

We managed population of frogs on

My grandfather’s farm ponds, feeding a

Childish imagination that eating frog legs

Would permit you to jump higher

Than those who only ate chicken. Back then,

Chickens ranged free, as all chickens should,

Until necks were rung and prepared to fry.

 

In Boy Scouts, I learned to march in time

Down in the basement of the church— left, right,

Left, right as we made a trip around the room.

Camping out on the edge of the lake, we collected

Mosquito bites like merit badges, learned history

On a fifty-mile trek that followed old wagon trails.

I remember unfolding a wrinkled canvas tent,

Finding a scrap of paper hidden inside folds

With “I love you” printed in pencil.

I never found who wrote that note

But wondered for years

Why a Boy Scout would be up to no good.

 

Clear water to fish; flat stones to skip on the ponds.

Mowing grass, riding horses out on the farm.

Memories remain, tumbling and polished by time.

In dreams, I’m still a boy and the small town

Has never changed. Before morning, I know

My grandmother still lives, back in the years

Before cancer destroyed hope that love would last.

 

Then the edges splinter. The dinner bell rings,

Calling me inside for dinner, after which

There’s one last hour for lightening bugs,

Communicating in some silent commentary.

Then as bugs and stars are wearing down,

I say my prayers to Jesus, and the air is sweet,

Dreamy embers of the starry sky and sleep.

 

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5 thoughts on “Memories Remain, Tumbling and Polished by Time

  1. Thanks, Linda. I have a second poem, entitled “Gem of the Highway” that I will post in the next few days…. More memories about KC.

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