It was a tin-roof wooden house standing
Across the red brick cobblestone street
Adjacent to a wide open field full
Of shady live oak and sweet smelling tangerine trees where
My father’s boyhood home was nestled
Quietly in his home town.
Often times we’d travel to visit
The grandparents still living there
In that Americana corner of our lives.
We didn’t know much of anything at all except
The sky was blue, love was true and we
Youngsters were the apples of the old folk’s eyes.
We’d sit for hours in white wicker rocking chairs
I helped paint one time with newspaper on the floor
And a horsehair brush grandma gave me
To teach me that painting needn’t be a lesson
In staying between the lines. “Sometimes,” she’d say,
“It’s better to let the paint flow
And speak for itself in time.”
And granddad liked to watch the sky – especially at night
When stars were burning bright and would point towards Polaris and say:
“Heaven’s over that a-way.” And during daylight hours
When storm clouds appeared and we could hear
Thunder and lightning all around, he’d laugh and dance
As if the circus were coming to town.
We watched mocking birds and blue jays flying in and out
Of all the tree top branches and leaves singing
Their love making lullabies to us and one another and then
As quickly as they arrived,
Disappeared into the wind.
It seems we’re not much different
Rather family, foe or friend.
Accordingly, the old house still stands today
But the dear old folks have slipped away.
Perhaps to the place once pointed to
High above that night sky view
Where comets roam and grandpa liked to call “Up yonder,”
Leaving me with thoughts of gold
And memories made to ponder.