Together Forever -- BOTH Audio and Text
Listen to poem:
The house smelled damp and musty as I stepped into the parlor. Cobwebs laced the windows, and the plants were all but dead.
Uncle Roy and Aunt Nadine were quite a lovely couple, and right away the mem’ries started wafting through my head.
Aunt Nadine had lived alone since Roy had passed away. We’d told her she could come and live with us…but she declined.
“I could never leave this place,” she said, “and this is why…there’re just too many things that I could never leave behind.
“See those tiny pencil marks beside the kitchen door? That’s where, every year…your Uncle Roy would check your height.
I can see you sitting on his lap while he read stories, and hear you say your prayers when I would tuck you in at night.
“We would always laugh about the way you'd carved your name deep into the entry door the first time that you stayed.
And how you’d list the places we were not allowed to look - to check if you were hiding there - when hide-and-seek was played!
“Maybe you remember, on the summer you turned five, picking out the color for the room where you would stay.
Then…we let you paint it! What an awful mess you made. But, since it makes us think of you…it’s still the same today!
“Don’t forget that little tree we planted by the shed. We fenced it from the bunnies… and we pruned it every fall.
Now it gives us lovely shade on quiet summer days. Like you, it started tiny…but, today…it’s big and tall.
“And then, of course, the walkway…from the sidewalk to the porch, made for quite a project for the two of you that spring.
Every time I get the mail I smile at your initials…funny how much happiness such simple things can bring.
“Still, it’s very kind of you to offer me a place. You’ve always been a really sweet and very caring boy,
But I’m afraid there’s no place in the world I’d rather be. Thank you for the offer, but, I’m staying here…with Roy.”
Walking ‘round that morning through their unpretentious home, having seen the monogram she’d mentioned - just outside -
Having seen the spot where I had signed their entry door, and…by the kitchen doorway…faintly running up the side…
Tiny squiggly pencil marks that chronicled my growth…silently denoting all those warm and tender years…
When I finally made it to the room where I had stayed, and saw the blotchy chartreuse green…my eyes would fill with tears.
Suddenly, the musty scent gave way to sweeter smells. Warm, familiar odors…like…bay rum, and…apple pie.
And when I swept the curtain back and glanced across the lawn, and saw the old and massive tree that Roy, Nadine, and I
Had planted sixty years ago, and carefully nursed along…through tears again…
though these were tears of joy…
I will swear that, sitting there…relaxing in the shade…holding hands, were sweet old Aunt Nadine and Uncle Roy!
Copyright © Mark Stellinga | Year Posted 2021
Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth so only provide specific positive comments that indicate what you appreciate about the poem.
to post a comment