Thursday, February 28, 2019

How It Was

I spent my childhood
in love with home—
with the gold-emerald grasses that knelt under my feet
and stood again after I passed,
with the spring flowers in my mother’s garden,
violets, lily of the valley, daffodils,
their breath sweet, their faces washed in sunshine,
and later, the fairy roses that climbed the fence
and hobnobbed with the first cut hay;

with the rough rocks that lined the banks
of the small brook that cut a path
through barbed and tangled berry bushes,
ripe with bee-spun fruit;
with the bent branches of an old apple tree
I climbed on, pretending I was astride a unicorn;
with the dirt road that, once tarred over,
led me past neighboring farmland, past deep woods
where I would prowl, looking for signs of bear
or wild Indians, half Indian myself, walking toe first
through the crackling underbrush;

with the staccato tap of rain on leaves
the warm, green-brown scent of wet earth
and great equinoctial storms
that presaged the change of seasons;
with my small, cross-legged self,
small among the cornstalks,
watching a chipmunk forage for kernels,
and once, a stately antlered buck watching me;

with the drift and spin of painted leaves,
touched by the brush of frost
and the tented webs that glimmered
red and blue and glittering silver on September lawns;
with the first snowflakes whispering on a chill wind
with knee-deep drifts, and sleds,
and green Christmas mittens, up-turned collars
and scratchy scarves, snowpants that swished,
galoshes with frozen buckles that finally yielded
to small, determined fingers;

with March winds that rattled the old wooden shutters,
blew snow that piled in small drifts
on the window sills and etched icy ferns on the panes;
with the return of robins, blue eggs huddled in a nest
I could spy on from the upstairs window,
finding great comfort in the way
the parent birds looked after their young
until, at last, the babies flew.


Out on the prairie said...

I always look forward to your magic in words, the love all about you and relating it to my own life

Pauline said...

Thanks, OOTP!

Barb said...

So much you've written stirs my memories, too. A childhood of roaming through the seasons, feeling the familiarity and safety of the landscape. Thank you.

Pauline said...

Gad you stopped by, Barb. I am working on the exercise you mentioned in your post - not there yet but still trying!

Tabor said...

Marvelous that you can recreate this childhood wonder so completely!!

Pauline said...

Tabor, there are many things I recall about my childhood and probably an equal number I can't! I kept journals as a young girl, and like now, led with my emotions before my brain had time to make sense of some things. That makes stuff stick with you.