i just stepped onto this old, rented porch,
just to put something away --
and it caught me:
that old-porch smell.
wood stained gray
by years gone by,
fresh air filtering through
it grabbed my feet,
it welled up in my throat --
i exhaled deep, anticipating
another sweet, smoky pull
on that old-porch smell...
leaving our Ontario driveway in morning darkness;
Loggins and Messina,
Paul and Linda,
early-evening arrivals at New York;
staring out van windows so as not to miss that Maple-lined road:
Grampa Ben's Farm.
soft Gramma Violet's lap,
aunt-kisses and uncle-tickles,
kitchen-stool Maple-buttered toast.
elbow-leaning between pillar candles melting spice,
lining up with cousins behind ice cream churn,
playing dress-up in Spare Oom.
loving/hating Christmas-new footed pajamas,
wiggling in double bed beside little sister,
wondering at the Sugar Shack.
Grampa Ben rests in maple shade, now.
Uncle Lee collects sap,
distills syrup -- thick and sweet like memories
of my mother's childhood home.
Aunt Kim divines treats in her Cakery
and in Gramma's kitchen,
sweetening the visits of brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews.
i hope to take my family to that dear old porch,
a little girl-in-footed-pajamas-turned-mom
on this old, rented porch,
to collect and distill sweet memories
for her three sons.