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Behind the Yellow Door

Looking out at the old oak  tree in my front yard today, I see myself as she is, stripped of all my former beauty by the passing of the seasons. 

I know you may find it hard to believe that I once was as beautiful as a Southern Belle and as eloquent and demure as one could ever be. BUT TIME CHANGES EVERYTHING! 

I once had a family (Mama and Papa.) I can still hear their voices. And the children,  Bobby and Mary Beth, I imagine I see them playing outside the yellow door. Yellow because it is Mama's favourite colour.  She says it is the colour of joy. 

I know it is just memories that bring them back to me for fleeting moments in my old age, but these memories are all I have left, and they bring me much comfort.   

But the truth of the matter is, they are all gone but Mama.  Mary Beth grew up and became a journalist, living her dream of globe-trotting. Her Bicycle still stands beneath those barren limbs waiting like me for her return.   

I believe it was the sound of silence that fell between Mama and Papa and the soft weeping that crept from their separate bedrooms in the night that finally drove Mary Beth away. 

If only one could erase one day in time, it would be that summer morning when Bobby left to go fishing with his buddy, Eddie.

But the fish went on to live another day when one intoxicated individual behind the wheel of a  speeding vehicle rounding the bend in the road lost his grip on reality and sent another unsuspecting child of God before his time to Heaven. 


The heavyweight of the grief that followed that tragedy, over time,  finally broke through the fabric of the family, leaving a hole that no amount of mending could repair. 

Papa's heart finally broke 13 years later.  He died on the same day that thirteen-year-old Bobby died.  

Mama is still alive, living for those two weeks a year each summer when Mary Beth takes a break from her globe-trotting and comes home. Mary Beth is a well-known journalist now, one year away from her 65th birthday with no thoughts of retiring.  

In celebration of these occasions, Mama puts a fresh coat of yellow paint on my door and sits in her rocking chair on my porch, counting the hours and minutes until Mary Beth arrives.

Mama is old and frail now, as am I, and I wonder if she will make it through another winter. And as I look out at those barren limbs on the old oak, I wonder if my door will ever wear another coat of joy. 


Author:  Elaine Cecelia George

Copyright © Elaine George | Year Posted 2020


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Date: 11/28/2020 9:57:00 AM

Very creative work. I am left with questions though. If Mary Beth is 65 now that would mean her mother would be maybe 85 so how old is grandmother maybe 105? Enjoyed reading this one. Sara
Date: 11/28/2020 5:24:00 AM

This is a brilliant write, Elaine. It tugs the heart as the old house speaks. Most will relate to the emotions evoked and feelings touched. (I thought I commented on this poem earlier)
Date: 11/27/2020 3:22:00 AM

A sad story, about life, loss and living... I like how you described it.. It is touching.
Date: 11/26/2020 5:07:00 PM

This is such a well written story of a real family. Heart warming.