A hand- made wooden table by the east window,
Papers rustling in the light breeze whenever it blows.
The curtains are blue cotton, been around a long time,
He bought them for her birthday in 1945.
A hand carved deer one of the horns had a split,
And to the left upon the wall hung an old patchwork quilt.
It had been packed up for years, but now it was time,
To release the memories that preyed on her mind.
The strike of the clock as it brought in the New Year,
Tears from her eyes, because he was no longer here.
She eased from her rocker, crippled fingers grasping tight,
A bout of arthritis had struck her last night.
She shuffled her feet small agonizing steps,
Reaching for her sewing tin she openly wept.
She stumbled and almost fell as she went back to her seat,
And Old Charlie ambled over and lay at her feet.
He was nearly her age, and a lazy old hound,
But he was the best friend you could ever have around.
He didn't bark much, or lick you in the face,
He was so darn lazy; you couldn't get him to move from place to place.
In her tin lay the past times way back when,
So many good times she didn't know where to begin.
Faded flowers crumbled with age from the farewell dance,
A good bye to all the soldiers that were departing for France.
A little plastic ring from a Cracker Jack box,
It wasn't a diamond, but it meant quite a lot.
He picked the prize for the shooting gallery at the county fair,
And out of all the things he could choose from, he chose a blue ribbon for her hair.
She pulled it through her fingers back and forth then again,
She could feel his spirit coming with the wind.
Her painful footsteps led her outside,
And she sat on the porch swing, bowed her head and cried.
Oh how she missed him, their time had been quick,
She smiled as she thought of the wildflowers he used to pick.
They would run through the fields sending butterflies in flight,
And sit on the swinging bridge overlooking the river, late into the night.
He didn't have no money, just a poor farmers son,
That didn't matter to her as long as she had his love.
They were married for a year when he was drafted into the war,
And though he promised to return, she was to never see him anymore.
Fate has its own way of dealing with things,
Never knowing what tomorrow will bring.
The tears ran her cheeks she could not gain control,
For upon his death she had lost her soul.
A knock upon the door, paper in hand,
Was a general or such that told her of her man.
He died bravely, and with honor, the general said,
But what did it matter, her man was dead.
The last of her memories, still rested in her chair,
And it was so hard for her to walk back, but she made it there.
One more item accidentally hit the floor,
And as she bent to pick it up the tears started to pour.
Before he went to war, a picnic by the creek,
He saw an object tucked in the weeds.
As he bent to pick it up he noticed one leg was gone,
But it didn't matter; it was a GI Joe a real American hero.
She stood hands clasped tightly around this little toy soldier,
And cried and cried. It really was over.
He had been dead for thirty years now and she had been all alone,
And GI Joe had brought the memories home.
© Cynthia Clark