Vol. IV No. 1 - SUMMER/FALL 1991

By: Kathryn Duskey Gemperle

The old man gave me a picture
a photo of the street
where he once lived
Bryn Mawr
Across from the row of neat houses
a wild empty lot
where boys played
digging holes in the sandy earth
and hiding among the willows
The willows
the willows were old, overgrown
the willows branches
spread like a bush
A willow is a good place to hide
to nestle in the spreading limbs
When I saw the image of long ago
I remembered
Who told me once she sat in
willows to read
hidden from her brother
and distractions
I pictured her high in
bending branches
and wondered then
how could she read while
moving with the sigh of the wind
I did not ask because she was old
and wanted to talk of childhood
in the city
so I could understand
But the photo connected
the images
The willows were old
growing wild in empty lots
easy to reach
and hide in
Francie need not have climbed high
to find a cozy rest
The willows
the willows opened up
and she sat reading alone
transported from
earthy strife
to a place in my memory.


Copyright © 1991 by Kathryn Duskey Gemperle - All Rights Reserved