Friday, July 27, 2012

Park Street in July

‘Granny-patches’ Grandma says
‘Going to be a cushion for you…
To remember me by when I am gone’

Every July the maple-trees
Transformed the sunny street
Into an enchanting corridor
As overhead verdant arms would meet
In a summer-long embrace
Every year I returned
A little older than the year before
But never too old to play with the antique bell
On the wooden front-door  
Or to politely sip Grandma’s tart lemonade
From the painted blue porch-step
In late-day shade
Hating and waiting for the snob next door
To walk by and stick out her tongue
A ritual since we were very young
Across the street Holly’s mother yells ‘supper’
The screen door slaps…twice
Once for *Holly, once for *Jack, her little brother
Who got spanked an hour earlier
For spilling his Dad’s ice-cold beer
And poor Jack’s wails
Split the sultry atmosphere
Of sun-dappled sidewalk
And *fried chicken
Grandma's rocker just kept on creakin’
While her fingers and crochet needle flew to its rhythm…
‘Must be going to rain,’ was all she said
‘I can feel it in my rheumatism ’
And I twirl a honey-colored braid
Wishing the yarn was any other shade but
Gold, dark brown and beige
‘Granny-patches’ Grandma says
‘Going to be a cushion for you…
To remember me by when I am gone’
Once more I politely say ‘thank-you’ and turn
To count fifteen
…that’s how often Crash has cruised
The main street
Showing off his new-used Comaro
With a modified muffler
And keeping a sharp look-out for
Crash, with his big afro-curls
His name isn’t really Crash
It’s Hank, but everyone calls him Crash
‘Cause he’s had a few
Girls, that is
Tomorrow we’re going to walk to the market
Slowly, up the shady street
The girl with the honey-blonde braids
Beside the grandma with her nylon kerchief
In July, and her shiny satchel
Swinging lightly from her dimpled elbows
…off to get the usual
Cheese curds and sugar-rosettes

© Janet Martin

Writer's Unite homework Assignment:  Homework = Small town living - write a poem, story, song...describing some aspect of life in a small town. 

Every summer I had a wee taste of small-town life when I visited my 'town-grandma'.
This 'poem' could have been a mile long; so many memories to choose from.
Thanks Glynis, for this assignment. It was so much fun. I have not recalled some of these memories for a long time!

*names have been changed out of respect for each one's privacy.
* there was a Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant at the end of the street. 


  1. Wanted to tell you... LOVE the recollections! I felt like I was there too.

  2. Lucy, this was so close my eyes and just remember. I have had the privilege of living with two Grandparent's in their last years of life. I stayed with Grandma Frey when she broke her arm and had breast cancer. I lived with Grandpa Martin in the year he passed away from Alzheimers...many memories in both places to reflect upon!

    I didn't include how Grandma's voice would SCREEEECH on the high note of 'When they ring those G-O-O-O-LDEN bells for you and me:)

    Thank-you. I thought this might arouse some memories of your own...Glad you enjoyed:)


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