Memories of Childhood and My Father | Geraldine Wilson

Memories of Childhood and My Father

Hand-in-hand we walked

two-and-a-half childhood steps to one Daddy stride

my braids bowed pinafore plaid

up curb down curb

spring water days were fine fun

smoothing diamond edge of his anger mean

the wide-brimmed gray Stetson

snapped over Black Bottom of

his white Post Office pain.

Growing up under wide showers of sycamore leaves

childhood’s wooden wagon rolls

up curb down curb

memories pull it to Fairmount Park’s

underground springs near George’s Hill

heavy with lovers loving spilling

pure liquid into family’s vinegar jugs

gallon mayonnaise and soft dill pick jars

long emptied into reunion picnics

relished potato salad ribboned bologna sandwiches

over trolley tracks silver from rides to Grandmom

banging worn rubber wheels

up curb down curb

we jump cobblestoned sewer gullies

and blued Quakers colonialist streets

jugs/jars rattle slosh dripping

sorrows tears and laughter of childhood games

here we go Zoodio Zoodio Zoodio

Jump back Sally Sally Sally

Honor to My Father Honor to My Father step

up curb down curb

We pulled the wagon home jugs filled with week’s water

clear his dream empty

unfinished letters of his complaints to Uncle Sam

their old ink running wet from spring’s spray

escape our tall cherry secretary

scatter on remembrances wind and blow

up curb down curb

I grew then one last day

his heart blew not yet old he fell

across a G.S.A. Post Office desk U.S. Mail went out

the day he was buried underground near springs

where we walked

up curb down curb

Geraldine Wilson, June 1981.

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