Tag Archives: Nostalgia

School Reunion

School Reunion

We’re grateful for the tiger in his ancient baseball shirt.
He’s still sliding into bases while we’re dishing out the dirt.

Non-Trumper against Trumper, human rightist against bigot,
all the ways we’ve grown apart, gushing from the spigot.

When the debate gets heated, he brings about a shift,
repeating old glories until we get his drift

and switch our conversation way back to the past
to all those high school memories that thankfully still last

and that turn the party back to what it should have been:
turning old friends back to what they all were way back when.

Prompts today are heater, party, grateful, tiger and shift. Image by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash.



When I went traveling, missives from home
awaited me everywhere I chose to roam.
Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Dakar—
No matter how foreign, no matter how far,
as I traveled by boat and auto and train,
over and over and over again
at postal restante, the letters they came—
varied in handwriting, varied in name.

Neighbors and cousins and aunts in strange places—
names conjuring up familiar old faces—
Letters at each port—sometimes a small pile—
arrived as I piled up mile after mile
of distance between the places I’d known
and all the new places to which I had flown
that spectacular trip of four months duration—
that long yearned-for chance for global education.

In that time before cellphones and internet and
when communication was all done by hand,
I still felt a bond with home and my past,
no hopeless feeling that I had been cast
into a strange world where I had no place.
My mother insured that this wasn’t the case,
for note after note conjured up the warm heart
of all of the people who’d been there from the start.

Later I found that since I’d left home,
to quench that long yearning to discover and roam,
each letter home that I’d written and sent,
my mother had copied and then she had leant
to the local paper who published them all
from the time that I left in the early fall
to the time four months later when I opened my pack
to reveal all the letters folks had written back!

Past teachers and uncles that I’d never known,
wrote insuring that I’d never feel all alone.
And each time I opened one, glad as I was
to be out in the midst of the the world’s alien buzz,
nonetheless I felt hiraeth raise its warm head
and for a time felt nostalgia instead.
Thus with one hand did my mother let go
to allow me the freedom that I needed so
while with the other she created a tether
that bound my two worlds securely together.


Prompt words for today are hiraeth, *a deep longing for home, hopeless, spectacular, missive and train.

True story.

Last Preteen Summer

Last Preteen Summer

Lemonade days and popcorn nights,
mosquito hums and chigger bites,
stars like bullet holes in the sky
and meteors like years gone by.
On our backs in summer grass,
we buried childhood en masse,
obsessed with coming teenage years
and all our questions and our fears.

Cars passing in the still-warm night
held our expectations tight.
Eavesdropping, we heard the cries
of older girls and older guys
cruising the town unaware
of prepubescent listeners there
 sheltering in my backyard,
watching stars and trying hard
to imagine teenage joys
like nighttime rides in cars with boys.

For the Tuesday Writing Challenge: Lemonade Days.
Cropped image from Diego on Unsplash.
And, since I’ve just been informed that this is last week’s Tuesday prompt, I’m posting to their ‘Promote Yourself Monday‘ link as well.

Peddler’s Daughter

Peddler’s Daughter

My father was a spruiker. At the juncture of each road,
he pulled his wagon to the side and spilled out all his load.
His wagon, heavy-laden, contained such treasures that
he knew he would sell something. He had his spiel down flat.

He had an old pump organ whose callithumpian tunes
filled the air with music from the treetops to the dunes.
People came from miles away to see what caused the din,
then grouped around the wagon to see what was within.

This commenced the distribution of all my papa’s treasures:
clothes and pans and furbelows and other worldly pleasures:
squeezeboxes and vases and women’s pantaloons,
chamber pots and laces and inflatable pontoons.

Pre-loved dolls for little girls and balls for little boys.
Jump ropes, checkers, building blocks, assorted wind-up toys.
Tobacco  plugs for Grandpa and canning jars for Gran.
Corsets for vain ladies to decrease their middle span.

Bridles for one’s horses and ropes to lead their cows.
Chicken feed and saddles and feeding trays for sows.
There was hardly anything that wagon did not hold,
and my father’s selling spiel was loud and brash and bold.

“Huzzah huzzah, huzzzah!” he’d call out to the crowd,
his bounty spread for viewing and touching was allowed.
Everything available–all that you could see
except for one thing on the wagon seat, and that small girl was me!!!!


Prompt words today are spruiker, juncture, callithumpian, lade and distribution. Image by Tamara Garcevic on Unsplash, used with permission.

spruiker noun at spruik verb. DEFINITIONS1. 1. (Australian English) someone who tries to persuade people to buy something, use a service, etc often in a dishonest or exaggerated way.

Callithumpian refers to a band of discordant instruments or a noisy parade.

Act Three

Act Three

The echo of your footsteps as you trod across my mind
creates anticipation of a nostalgic kind.

You elevate my consciousness as you were wont to do

and so in time I manifest the whole grand rest of you.

You’ve been a silent tenant for so many years
that this surprise appearance prompts again those  tears

I thought had been dried up in me when you had to go
to that place where you were drawn by the undertow.

For only a brief moment, we are as we have been, 
’til with a click of memory, I banish you again.

You slip back into shadow in the attic of my mind,
where both of us lie tangled, hopelessly entwined.

I come back to the present while you’re banished to the past,
once again resuming the roles in which we’re cast.

You imprisoned in act two, caught eternally
while I assume a solo role, living out act three.

Prompt words today are elevate, echo, click, tenant and cross.

Cherry Summers

Cherry Summers

They sit on the steps of our low front porch,
cherry-stained fingers dropping pits 
onto the grass or sidewalk.
“They is good but they is sowie,”
exclaims our tiny neighbor, looking up
at my dad, who sits with her and her brothers,
his mouth, too, full of sour cherries
pulled from the trees in our back yard.

My sister and I spend summer afternoons
picking off stems and squeezing
the fruit to expel the pits,
juice running down our arms

to drip off elbows and pool on the 
table, attracting ants.

Bowlful after bowlful is removed from the table
by my mom to make into pies to freeze.
This task of summer is rewarded all winter long
by the crisp thin crust and tapioca-thickened 
ooze of sugared cherry gel surrounding 
the  fruit sweetened by some chemistry
of my mother’s hand.

Those summer days were lengthened
by the absence of the tolling school bell across the street
and by  a sun that lingered into night, 
bedtimes stretching out because of the impossibility
of going to bed before dark.

“Ollie ollie oxen free,” echoed from
games of hide-and-seek that ranged
from the playground across the street
into our backyard where cherry trees
that offered shade in the heat,
offered shelter from detection at night.

The aroma of cherry pie, fresh from the oven,
whetted more than mere appetites
during all those nights when,
snow piled on the windowsills,
we bit into
the sweet memories
of summer



For dVerse Poets
Image by Joanna Kasinska on Unsplash, used with permission.

Note Attached to a Skirt at Mia’s Recycled Clothing Shop

Note Attached to a Skirt at Mia’s Recycled Clothing Shop

I’ve made a decision to downsize my clothes.
I’ve thrown out my slips and old panty hose
that have lain there dormant for thirty-five years,
my decision to jettison long in arrears.
Then I threw out old fashions that I knew were dated.
With memories they were all so permeated—
of travel and weddings and high school dances,
that I couldn’t avail myself of the past chances
to donate to charities or to my friends
or delegate them to more permanent ends
such as landfills and garbage trucks. It seemed too crass
to dispose of such wonderful memories en masse.

Yet now I’ve decided to lighten my load
and get rid of excess that fills my abode.
I only hope that one day I’ll detect
the trickle-down theory gone into effect:
some stranger, perhaps, that I pass by chance
who knows not why she’s met with an extra-warm glance
as she strolls down the street looking happy and gay
in the gypsy skirt chosen for my wedding day
thirty-five years ago, now finally freed
from my closet to go on and finally lead
a life of its own and to soak up some new
happiness. Will it perhaps be from you?

Prompts for today are downsize, permeate, trickle, avail and decision.

Neighborhood Rhythms–Then and Now



I’ve been down swinging in the hammock, listening to the neighborbood sounds and talking to my friends Marti and Patty on the phone and writing to Forgottenman on Skype. This was part of our conversation:

Judy: Lots of bats flying around right now..soaring around in droves.some poor doggie howling and howling a distance away glad my two haven’t joined in. Frogs, katydids and rainbirds making a din—plus some drummer down below. Rainbirds just started up again LOUD….have you ever heard them?

That led him to send me these two links:

Judy: Both of those sound just like what I’m experiencing now.. Right down to the music coming from across the street. I think you should reblog those. So nostalgic. Wish you were here doing the same now.

What he describes in them is exactly what I’ve been experiencing for the past hour or so, so I decided to reblog his pieces. It is now fully dark after a long lovely sundown and leg and foot cramps ousted me from the hammock so I’m about to go in for a swim. Hope you will enjoy Forgottenman’s eight year old posts as I did. The world doesn’t change that much after all, except for the fact that I’m the one in the hammock now.

Just click on the links above to see what he had to say way back when.



Men whistle, catcall, stare and stalk
and even vagrants stop and gawk.
Old ladies cluck their tongues and talk,
but I can’t help the way I walk.

My talent was not learned of late.
It’s rumored that it is innate.
My mom, a flapper in her day,
was zany, silly, clever, gay.

And now I ooze with her pizzazz,
her craziness and all that jazz,
or so Dad says. And long-dead embers
spark in his eyes as he remembers.

She’s only stories heard, a name,
a face within a silver frame
on the nightstand of my dad—
the mother that I never had.

She never held me in her arms
or schooled me in feminine charms,
but I have her spirit and her butt.
In this I am most fortunate.

So I resurrect her daily,
imagining her as I gaily
sway and flirt. It is a token—
a eulogy with no word spoken.

Prompts for today are pizzazz, fortunatevagrant, innate and frame. The photo really is of my mother, but the poem is fictional. My mother taught me lots of things, but not how to walk seductively!!! ;o)



My roots are in the soil of the place I once called home
and still I feel a part of that South Dakota loam.
It had rich humus that gave life to all that seeded me,
clay to hold my memories and sand to set me free.

Lest I give the impression that they’re gone without a trace,
a myriad of memories lie rooted in that place.
They flit like prairie moths through everything I do,
then sink back down into my heart like rich Dakota goo.


Prompts for today are impression, myriad, flit and home. (Loam is a fertile soil of clay and sand containing humus.) Photo by Nikola Jovanovic on Unsplash. Used with permission.