The Prize

 

Version 2

The Prize

Our weekends at the cabin were vacations we adored,
for our grandpa and our grandma made sure that we weren’t bored.
Every single Saturday, they sent us on a quest.
I always set out on my own for I feared that the rest
would take credit for the fact that I’d found the strangest thing
that our grandparents had set the task for each of us to bring.

Those times out on my own were a relief from the noise
from all the squealing little girls and all the shouting boys,
for the numbers of my cousins— all those brothers and those sisters—
pounded on my eardrums ’til I feared that they’d make blisters.
I hated all the folderol, for I preferred the calm.
The quiet sounds of nature acted as a balm.

The whispering of treetops and the music of the loons
were a contrast to the cowboy movies and the Looney tunes
streaming from the playroom where the television
was another thing that prompted my decision
that I could best seek treasure on a solitary search,

and, indeed, I found it in the shadows of a birch—

an eye that looked out at me from the darkness and the gloom
like the only thing alive within a haunted room.
I freed it with my pocketknife—too large for my pocket.
Too large for grandpa’s “thing” box, let alone for grandma’s locket.
What is it? I’m not going to tell where I found the eyes
one of which won me that week’s treasure prize!

 

Prompt words today are calm, cabin, quest, hate.
I’m also including my photo for the What is it? prompt.

19 thoughts on “The Prize

  1. SueW

    I love your story about your grandparents, but now I’m itching to know Who the eyes belonged to!

    I love your picture but I haven’t much idea about what it could be. The prize could be some sort of food, on the other hand, it looks like a form of cacti! Please do enlighten me!

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      And, I’ll admit this is fiction, Sue. I knew neither of my grandfathers and only one grandmother. I’ve written many factual poems and essays about her but this is not one. I always wanted to have a family cabin but we never did.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      I think about an hour Mary. Took me longer to find the photo..Actually, I wrote part of the poem, then needed to find a photo to decide what he found, then went back to finish the poem.

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  2. slmret

    A wonderful poem that brings back good memories. We moved into a new-to-us home when I was about 8. In the backyard there was a big hill that had apparently been composted — my dad wanted to lower the height. Having recently read some Mark Twain, he suggested that there might be some treasure if we dug down. When we got to the level he wanted, he secretly buried a box of old coins, military medals, etc, which we found during the next day’s dig!

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  3. slmret

    It kept two little girls busy for most of the spring and summer — and we didn’t know for several years that it was his medals that we had found 🙂 ! He also used Mark Twain several times in his pediatric practice — buying warts from kids, etc.

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      1. slmret

        I hope you read that as WARTS, not wars! I think in Twain they tied strings around warts, which would then fall off soon thereafter. Daddy would give the kids a quarter, and the warts would fall off!

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        1. lifelessons Post author

          Oops mine was a typo.. I was thinking warts but typed wars. Yolanda ties hairs around her kids warts, but they grow back, so I took Oscar to the dermatologist to have his burned off. Gone for good!

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          Reply
          1. slmret

            I think Yolanda’s attempt was similar to the Twain approach — I always thought it was an “old wives tale,” but if it works that’s great! I now think that it must be a “mind over matter” issue — if you believe ~ ~ ~!

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