Past the Past

A winding dirt road

up a hill, across a dam

past a dirtier pond

between a thousand raspberries

to the kitchen door I slammed

a million times without thought

of what was no longer my home.

It had changed, not me,

in ways I never imagined

painted over brick

sealed in the past

bushes of bright flowers

coloring my memories

all gone now, ripped out

along with all the barns

that had kept all my secrets

stored fields of happiness.

Crates of my family history

years of wonder and life

meshed into wood and earth

I thought safely for all time

now torn down for a view

of more raspberry bushes.

Rounding the back I see a tiny face

looking at me from the corner window.

Waving at me from my room

still seeing the rolling valleys

beyond me

yet watching me

slowly reshaping my heart.

As I pass the aging garage

and an old wood shed

where I learned from the bugs

and spiders how to write

there was the Tulip Tree

I planted in the 6th grade.

Now fifty feet tall and thirty across

standing proudly in the front yard

a million leaves waving joyfully

shivering smiles in the breeze

as I sadly grow old in my soul.

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