Sunday, July 21, 2013


Tall maples lace fingers across Connecticut roads
their gnarled feet uprooting sidewalks
July at my grandparent's house
the scallions grow wild by a sloping fence
dandelions shake loose their seeds---
tiny parachutes snagging on wet grass.

Afternoons when sunlight spirals through flaps
of hand embroidered curtains
we snap jigsaw puzzles together
on a card table with unsure legs.
Grandpa's raspy tales of The Great War
Tin Lizzies and gas ration tickets
lost years he can never replace.
Grandmother, white reflection in the glass
cabinet where bone china is a memory
of Christmas dinners and wedding parties.

At night we trap firebugs in mason jars
their yellow lights winking like a distant city.
My sisters and I share the fold-out bed
in a musty basement cluttered with steamer
trunks and back issues of National Geographic.
Frayed slippers of our grandparents
whisper their age across dry floor
boards in a bedroom that smells
of mothballs and crushed roses.

Outside, the moon surprises us with its youthful
face beyond dimming stars where clouds
form shadows in the Maple trees.