Photo by Bobby Wong Jr.
The olden days are comforting, memory/ that exists with no mind to box it in, /a pasture. --- From “Olden Days” by Hannah Stephenson, posted 09-12-11 in The Storialist.
Olden days as a pasture---an expanse
of growth and green alive to laughter
and song---that’s where I am going.
Where windswept bramble rustle
with grass, you will find me there.
I can’t be rushed to skip off beyond.
I have time to paint a collage of faces
I have known in the deep mosaic
of a past now graffitied on these walls.
Isn’t this why we hoard our memories?
We carry them like playing marbles
in pockets over our hearts, an easy draw
when the game is called, a quick toss
into holes dug on dirt we crawl on like
the kids we were, rolling them to dusk.
Olden days are there to sieve through
to find markers along obscured paths
once brightly lit now lost or darkened.
A smile after a first kiss would help me
remember there are caresses there
as indelible, as urgent, as when first
given or surrendered by the one lover
whose courage saw me through times
when absconding was an easy way out.
A rollicking hug from the boisterous
son, a lonely issue, my only boy, recalls
a hesitant embrace for my dying father
who whispered from his rocking chair
my schoolboy snivelling was poor form,
he needed a man’s goodbye. Goodbye.
The litter of olden days strewn like dry
leaves along my walk home holds me
back, awake again: I do not want to go.
---Albert B. Casuga