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.