I come from apple orchards and and sweet-scented blossoms, from sweet pea and lilac, a canvas hammock slung under a weeping willow, wet bathing suits hung on the line, that dont have time to dry out before the next swim. I come from lake-scent and marsh grasses, the smell of summer mornings taking me back fifty years to a little cottage on Christleton Avenue. I come from brown hills covered with wild yellow daisies, the smell of sage, songs about tumbling tumbleweed. I come from weeping willow and poplar, and the gentle lapping of baby waves against the shore, from bullrushes and horsetail, that I tried to pick apart when I was not as tall as the green stalks. I come from bike rides past old country farms, as evening falls, the meadowlark singing its melodic song from the pasture.
I come from a cackling grandma and a twinkling grandpa, shiny dimes tucked into a tiny white envelope, to buy a popsicle and some dubble bubble. I come from a small sleepy orchard town surrounded by mountains, the Big Blue Hills of my childhood, and a lake down the street where the best day was finding a log to bounce up and down on, when the waves began to dance.
I come from family visits where the stove never grew cold, pancakes the size of skillets, with brown sugar on top, and strawberry shortcake served to the menfolk in serving bowls, with cackles and great hoots of laughter, Grandpa thumping the salt and pepper shakers, which were never in the right place.
The Marrs ~ My mother in the middle, back row
Uncle Don, who just passed, on the left, back row
I come from a line of strong women and gallant, devoted men, all the beautiful aunts and uncles with the trademark round Marr eyes, so impossibly glamorous to we freckled awkward children, as the ice tinkled in the glasses, and the stories and laughter filled the happy hours. I come from a little house on Christleton Avenue, that spawned generations of cacklers, and launched us all like little bouncing ships, that came and went from its shores, through the busy years, until, one by one, they came no more.
I come from dates in two-tone '55 Chevys, with guys with slicked back duck tails, who showed up smelling of talcum powder and leather upholstery. We would troll up one side of Bernard Avenue, through City Park, and down the other side, seeing and being seen, then do it all again.
I come from rose-scent and whisperings on soft summer evenings, in a small town full of rose and lilac dreams, from all the sad songs of broken promises and heartbreak, whose words would become a prophecy: Blue Velvet, Mr Lonely, Cryin' Over You, a love of dancing in a girl who rarely got to dance once she was grown, a lover of song who slowly, over the years, forgot to sing.
When I go back to that town, I visit all the beautiful loved ones in the cemetery on the hill., where this week we will lay one more gently down, to join his parents and siblings in Heaven.
I took my flock of ducklings back to this town to nest when they and the world were young and, when the fledglings had flown, I gathered the wind under my wings and made a prodigious leap across the desert, over the mountains, to the edge of the western sea, where the waves had long been calling me.
And now I come from ocean roar and pounding waves, galloping into shore like white-maned horses, from sea and sky and scudding clouds, cry of the gull, wing of the eagle, small darting sandpipers, long-legged heron, long sandy beaches stretching to forever, and always and forever, forever and always, the song of the sea, waves advancing and retreating on the shores of my heart.
I am old-growth forest and morning fog, and the moo of the foghorn at Lennard Light, sunrises and sunsets, and the long lope of wolves along the shore as the dusk purples the sand and we take one last lingering look, then turn towards home.
for Mary's wonderful prompt at dVerse: to write a poem full of color and sense memory about Where I Come From, the things that shaped me. Interesting, given I returned to my hometown this weekend. Friday night, .there I was , with family, in my home town, in a springtime full of blossoms, listening to the songs of my youth. Wow. My uncle who just passed away , was the last living sibling of my mother. Thankfully his wife, our aunt, is still with us. The original Marr family is now reunited in heaven.