TUESDAY: Memories

BY C. J. PAPOUTSIS

Based in Victoria, B.C., C. J. Papoutsis has been writing for many years. Copyright is held by the author.

You can’t give kids your memories.
If they’ve never heard a train rend the black night silence
engine straining,
steel grating on steel,
whistle howling through the forest
like something wild.

You can only tell them
how woodsy your house smelled —
the house your father hammered together
with scrounged logs and found nails
he’d straightened himself.

They can’t play in the creek
where you sat on green mossy stones
dabbling your feet
in the blue-cold water.

You can only tell them about
green shutters closed against the night
jet-black wood stove named Evening Star
and a rose-patterned sofa with no springs
where by the twitchy light of an oil lamp
you sat and read Jane Eyre.

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