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Pink Pillow Shams
July 4, 2013
11:13 pm
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Points: 11955
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Your house always smelled like coffee grounds

and the ashes of fresh cigarettes hanging in the humidity

like a see-through shower curtain.

I remember watching you pick lint up off the carpet

bending at the waist in your fuzzy socks

and navy polyester slacks.

You used to sleep on that itchy brown couch with legs

in the living room, while your perfectly made bed

slept alone in the bedroom.

Once Grandpa died, your bedroom became the guest room

for Mom and Dad when we visited.

You showed me how to gently remove the pink pillow shams

and fold back the bedspread, since the bedding

was just for looks and not for sleeping.

The bedspread was one of the quilts your Momma made.

Sunbonnet Babies pattern for the girls

and Overall Boys for my brother Jon’s.

We used to sit on her lawn with the bugs chirping in the trees

and play Canasta. I may have been too young,

but you let me play all the same.

I was five when Granny Webster passed away. She left us

a little bit of money that we took to the department store

and used to buy a microwave.

Your microwave was a Radar Range with turquoise dials and buttons

that matched your melamine coffee cups

and saucers, slightly stained.

When you washed the dishes you never rinsed them,

just washed them in hot water with soap

and then dried them.

I used to ask you why your thumb nail was so long and you said

it was to tear tape, which you must have done a lot

since you worked in the old folks home.

When I came to visit and introduced you to your great grandson,

you had bought me Sugar Smacks and Jello,

because that’s what I ate when I was little.

The same red linoleum floor sat beneath the kitchen table

where I once dumped out blocks and created

castles with Uncle Jim.

You still put curlers in your hair and took a bath on Sunday mornings.

You still had your coffee in the turquoise cup,

but you gave up cigarettes.

I saw you one more time when I was pregnant with my daughter.

You died before she was born and never knew

that I named her after you.

Wine is bottled poetry. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
July 4, 2013
11:57 pm
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Points: 8388
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How well you remember her. My grandparents raised me from 10 on and I remember the the fancy bed coverings too. I laugh at myself for not realizing how wonderfully I was treated by them. I thought they were torturing me but that's how it goes when your younger years were spent in the wilds of Texas. They lived in a beautiful town here in Ohio. Grandpa was the mayor. Those poor folks put up with a little George of the jungle for sure. I never had the chance to say thank you but they know....

I am a man with one distinguishing manner. I view life as a nonstop roll by circus. Whatever my senses signal to my brain, it is received as humor.
July 5, 2013
12:14 am
Moderator

Points: 11955
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Write something.... I'd love to know those memories in a more intimate way.

Wine is bottled poetry. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
July 22, 2013
10:32 pm
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Your ability to paint your memories into such detailed poems is profound... is deep... thanks for sharing. And to think I almost missed this one smug2

The following users say thank you to uniquelylost for this useful post:

tlhopkinson
Perfection; my greatest strength and weakness.
July 25, 2013
11:35 pm
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Points: 8388
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Haven't got around to writing a story yet. Its on my list of things to stop putting off!

I am a man with one distinguishing manner. I view life as a nonstop roll by circus. Whatever my senses signal to my brain, it is received as humor.
July 26, 2013
3:17 pm
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Points: 11955
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I'm obviously very busy this week... hoping to get caught up soon on Thoughts and find some time to write... sigh

Wine is bottled poetry. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
July 26, 2013
4:47 pm
Moderator

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Relax. Thoughts will always be here like an old pair of sissors........Slippers.

I am a man with one distinguishing manner. I view life as a nonstop roll by circus. Whatever my senses signal to my brain, it is received as humor.
February 1, 2014
12:00 pm
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Points: 11955
Thanked 228 times
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Revised...

Pink Pillow Shams

 

Your house smelled of coffee grounds and the ashes

of fresh cigarettes; the scent hung in the humidity like lucid curtains.

You used to bend at the waist in your fuzzy socks

and navy polyester slacks to pick lint up off the carpet.

And you slept every night on that itchy brown couch

in the living room, while your perfectly made bed

slept alone in the bedroom.

 

Once Grandpa died, your bedroom became the guest room.

You showed me how to gently remove the pink pillow shams

and fold back the bedspread; the bedding

was just for looks and not for sleeping.

The bedspread was one of the quilts your momma made.

Sunbonnet Babies pattern for the girls

and Overall Boys for my brother.

 

We used to sit on her lawn with the bugs chirping in the trees

and play Canasta. I may have been too young,

but you let me play all the same. I was five

when Great Granny Webster passed away. She left us

a little bit of money that my Mom used

to buy a microwave on our way home

from the funeral. It was my first.

 

Your microwave was a Radar Range with turquoise dials and

buttons that matched your melamine coffee cups and saucers,

slightly stained. When you washed the dishes

you never rinsed them, just wiped off the soap as you dried.

When I came to visit and introduced you to your great grandson,

you had stocked Sugar Smacks and Jello—

my favorite foods from when I was little.

 

The same red linoleum floor sat beneath the kitchen table

where I once dumped out blocks and created castles.

You still put curlers in your hair and took a bath on Sunday mornings.

You still took your coffee in a turquoise cup,

but you gave up cigarettes. I saw you one more time

when I was expecting my daughter.

You were gone before she was born and never knew

that I named her after you.

Wine is bottled poetry. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
February 1, 2014
12:12 pm
Calligrapher

Points: 4307
Thanked 105 times
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I enjoyed that...... you have a good memory to detail, took me back to my childhood days, smilethe smell of my grandma house.

The following users say thank you to craigb12 for this useful post:

tlhopkinson
February 1, 2014
12:22 pm
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Points: 11955
Thanked 228 times
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Glad you liked it... I'm submitting poetry this morning, which usually means some revision. I quite love this piece now. It finally feels finished. And for me, it's always nice to remember those simple and happy childhood moments. My grandma was a great woman :).

Wine is bottled poetry. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
February 1, 2014
12:27 pm
Calligrapher

Points: 4307
Thanked 105 times
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definatley sounds a lovely woman, yes really enjoyed your memoirs smile 

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