Jan. 30, 2018


Through the veil of hazy memory
I recall my younger years,
Led by my mother to a shift
In surroundings and of gears

We’d trundle off in the purple car
Etch-a-sketch in tow
And travel North of the City
Cornfields standing in proud row

Past Highway 7 and Markham Road,
Stouffville a bit of a town,
And then the corner we’d been waiting for,
A fir lined driveway to go down.

The rambling house stood looming within,
Hidden from view until the last,
Then upon it we were and I would grin,
Thrilled the school week had passed.

But we didn’t stay in the house
For it had others, and they kept to their own;
Mary Hurry and the Roses ~
To be left quite alone.

We stayed in the trailer, a tiny thing
A small bunk for me and another for them,
In a rusty old cooler, some food we’d bring;
We’d harvest the garden, plucked fresh from the stem.

A row of black walnuts arced majestic o’erhead,
Collected from the ground, hands stained in a mess;
The apple orchard was old and one tree was just mine ~
It had a flat board and I’d sit in this shrine...

Alone for hours, playing games in the roads,
With stick people and flowers and puffballs and toads;
I’d skip and I’d run and my tummy I’d fill
With raspberries and apples, while the birds would trill,

The smells I remember, the look of grey wood,
A bathtub in the garden for water, just stood;
The milkweed and monarchs, the dragonflies too,
But best of all was the dog ~ he’d leap up on cue,

And kiss me and wait, wanting to race,
A magnificent Shepherd, he lived in this place,
He’d follow me and watch, sometimes knock me down,
I’d be stuck in the snow, under him, such a clown!

A part of that house was soon ours to go in ~
And inside were treasures beyond what many had seen,
Turpentine wafted heavy, and brushes galore,
And the canvases leaned there, score upon score

In his art he would capture blue light in the snow,
A still life, sunflowers resplendant in a row,
Poppies and daisies, and lakes, mountainsides,
Wistful landscapes, tumbledown shacks, raging tides.

Realism, it’s called, his style, his forte.
Realism that taught me, ‘tis nature should stay
Our most precious resource, in our wonder,
And with our respect, we should always pay.

Kira Braun