An Evening of Childhood

cozy kitchenAn apricot pudding hissed
through a steaming cloth
while my brothers and I played planets
with the contents of the fruit bowl
on the kitchen table,
Grandfather’s blend of Dutch tobacco
contaminated the whole place,
We were used to it,
In fact it’s how we remember him,
After all he was a conversational economist,
What of Grandma?
The unmistakable mustiness
of her richly stocked cookie tin,
Now you’re talking,
That was real love,
Unforgettable, everlasting love,
There was a glowing coal fire
threatening chestnuts,
Crackling in time to the sound of
Mum’s clackety needles,
Knitting sweaters from a ten-year-old pattern,
Wooden casements opened wide
to the fresh southern air,
The Guinea pig choir
chanted high pitched hungry love you’s
from the hutches in the yard,
Dad was sitting worlds away,
With bull frogging cheeks
weaning a reel from
his silver harmonica,
Chromatic of course,
and beautiful I recall,
One foot up,
One foot down,
on the red stone steps of our house,
He tapped to his tune of the evening
for what seemed like forever.
I wish it had been.

Copyright © 2002 Terry Stephen Driscoll • All rights reserved.