By Kay Mullen
A child of eight remembers the first visit,
the narrow rutted road, dust swirling behind
the gray sedan. Around a bend,
wild roses and balsamroot
climb a wrought-iron gate.
Seven years her mother lies beside
loved ones enduring
as oak shade in August, yellow
leaves like fragile letters tucked away
in a locked trunk.
Hand-me-down memories linger from wall
hangings and hushed tones overheard,
torn music sheets flattened
on a secret shelf of the secretary, initialed
linens never used. Refrains still sing
from fingers that once flew over the keys
like wings, her brush strokes: the pebbled
stream, fields of lupine,
the shanty and chimney smoke.
Copyright Mullen 2015