Mom &Dad Were Young


Never mind there was a flour mill
coughing up white dust on our shoulders.
Never mind the two good elm trees in front
would catch some disease and die.
Never mind it was in a poor neighborhood.
The preacher man living next door would make up for it.
Never mind the place was lath board &plaster.
It was cheap enough. And dad was young enough,
strong enough and smart enough to tackle this fixer-.
upper. And he did.  Mom, me, and my brothers helped
lather up strips of wallpaper, paint corners, haul
fence pickets, &chuck necessary wreckage outside of town.
And Dad, ever inspired to re-do everything kept re-
doing. He once looked at a magazine picture, and fresh
from his mind sprung a hand-crafted canopy head he jig-
sawed with curves to float over my bed; pretty as a crown.
Mom measured, cut, and sewed sheer white flowy panels and
tied them back like fancy French curtains at windows.
But don’t think we were afraid of color, no-how. We liked
canary yellow, avocado green, powder blue, &riding hood red
on the walls or on the floor, it didn’t matter because
it was our house now, and Mom and Dad were young.
Never mind that some days the best thing us kids could do
was hold Dad’s ladder or hand him his hammer. Other days
it was hard to tell if we were building the house on 4th Street
or if it was, in fact, building us. All I know is that somewhere
in the wall behind the breaker box we all scrawled our initials.

For Mom &Dad. Prompted by Kelli at Real Toads


25 thoughts on “Mom &Dad Were Young

  1. Other days
    it was hard to tell if we were building the house on 4th Street
    or if it was, in fact, building us…

    Could anything be more perfect than this tale lovingly told?

  2. I, too, love the part about the house building you. Wonderful to have such young and vibrant parents and a house that was yours. This lifted my heart, just by reading it. Beautifully done.

    1. Thanks, Mary! I wasn’t sure where this “home” prompt was going to take me…but it turned out better than I expected. Telling the truth is a funny thing, because there are so many of them (truths).

  3. Angie, this is a delight. I love your dad’s imagination that creates things right out of the page, and your mom the magazine conjurer, and the preacher that made things so much better, and your red walls and floors, those wonderful reds!

  4. When I say “I missed this poem” I’m not kidding. This is a real gem. There is something sentimental, but not sticky-sweet. There is a tension built-in that hovers between smiling at the memory and crying that its now just a memory. I loved this, mostly because it sounds a lot like my childhood, believe it or not. Our fathers sounded like two of a kind. Thanks, Mosk

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