He walked up to the little house, and paused to gain his strength,
The pathway from the drive to porch had seemed an endless length;
The gardens showed their loss of care, the weeds were overgrown,
A tear began to grace his cheek as memories overflowed.
He saw her flowered gardening hat, hung just outside the door,
The rake and spade leaned gently ‘tward it, waiting evermore;
Alas, no loving hands would reach to guide their daily tasks,
His mother’s final days had come, though several weeks had passed.
Until today, he could not find the courage in his heart,
To face this empty home for fear he’d simply fall apart;
Much more than just a casement made of brick and wood and nails,
This house contained remembrances of timeless family tales.
He glanced toward the road and saw the “sold” sign in the grass,
And softly sighed … in sixty days, he’d lose his sense of “past”;
With keys in hand, he turned the lock and quietly stepped in,
A rush of mixed emotions, came from somewhere deep within.
No gentle arms were at the door to greet the vacant chime,
No smiling face to whisper “Welcome Home, sweet child of mine”;
A feeling raw and aching added to his sense of strife,
Alone, he scanned the foyer, saw the traces of his life.
In ghost-like vision, there he watched the past come into view,
The boots and mittens, coats and hats, he’d drop as he ran through;
He smiled at all the mem’ries of her subtle reprimands,
As she picked up the items, hung them gently on the stand.
In silence he remained in place, while snapshots framed his mind,
As all the years of love and life re-played the years of time;
His reverie was shattered by an overwhelming sense,
That he was not alone … the feeling grew … became intense.
He moved into the family room and saw through hazy air,
His father still reclining in his favorite worn-out chair;
The ghostly apparition turned the newspaper with skill,
The scent of pipe smoke lingered as he felt a sudden chill.
The memory of his father, long since taken from this world,
Was growing ever stronger, as he watched the scene unfurl;
He jumped and glanced toward the kitchen, heard the pots and pans,
Aromas of their favorite meal were wafting through in strands.
Like patterns from a distant time, he heard his mother’s voice,
Now riveted, he listened on, and stood without a choice;
The humming grew much clearer as he recognized the tune,
Then felt his knees grow weak, as she appeared into the room.
Her vision glided softly to his father’s chair and ceased,
She looked as he remembered 20 years ago at least;
She spoke a name in whispered breath, his father turned and sighed,
And stood with arms outstretched, as they embraced there un-denied.
He heard her say, “I’m sorry that I took so very long.”
His father smiled, “I waited dear, oh how I’ve missed your song.”
“It’s time to go, he knows we’re here,” and motioned to the hall,
Their son remained there motionless, in awe of what he saw.
She blew a kiss toward her son, and grasped his father’s hand,
They turned and faded out of sight … no longer of this land;
He paused for just a moment, washed in comfort through his tears,
And memorized the vision he would cherish through his years.
Through trick of mind or memory … perhaps a greater cause,
He felt his heart embrace the vision, felt a sense of calm.
He turned to walk back through the door, and stopped a final time,
A peaceful feel enveloped him … serenity of mind.
He glanced toward the road and saw the “sold” sign in the grass …
And knew from deep within his heart … his memories would last.