The House on Oak Street

With the seasons changing so rapidly here in Canada, I start thinking about the holidays and back home. Here is a fairly nostalgic poem about my childhood home.

 

The House on Oak Street

Mindy M. Wara

 

Spring awakens Mom’s sunny tulip cups

along-side the white house, mint

in 1991, when Dad first drew out the “For Sale” sign

as if he were Arthur pulling the sword from the stone.

My sister and I can never resist the urge to pluck

the tulip heads from their stalks, mashing them

into potions along with poison berries.

We were warned never ever to eat them,

but I made her try one once. She was fine.

 

As the last puddles of spring evaporate,

I drag the storm-blown birch stick

through my dad’s left-over rainbowed gasoline spots

on the driveway. The iridescent spectrum swirls in on itself.

I discover I am an artist, not a mechanic,

as my father had anticipated,

though the grease stained coolots and jumpers

in the hamper suggest otherwise.

 

Dead geraniums allude to autumn,

hanging their weary wilting heads

in the planter below the mailbox.

The cheapest pumpkins

we could find at Fernau’s stand guard,

etched with the scariest faces Dad’s knife can carve,

the orange mucus, guts, and seeds

our fingers squish around in

is left crusted to the table for Mom to clean up.

 

Peering out the living room window,

I see blue snow under streetlamps.

It takes over the yard, the jungle gym,

the windows as I lick and stick the snowflake window clings,

readying the house for reindeer and grandparents,

offering Christmas warmth from the muted world.

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What vivid memories do you associate with your childhood? Please comment and share!

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4 thoughts on “The House on Oak Street

  1. Megan

    Awww I love this! I remember all of these…except you wanting to poison me…. I remember all of the birthdays, christmas’s and 4th of julys. Makes me miss you times like a million!

    Reply

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