In honor of National Poetry Month…Rock River Poetry Contest 2003 National winner
The Rock River Times is proud to present the National winner in the 2003 Rock River Poetry Contest, J. Glenn Evans of Seattle, Washington.
Pear trees all gone but stump of a fallen one.
The old well with gourd for passing strangers
Gone, now just bare ground and covered hole.
The home I once shared with grandparents,
Parents, uncles, aunts, now all gone.
Without shingles roof joists looked like a skeleton
A locked rusty iron gate barred my way.
This fence and gate, which barred my way.
I climbed over and walked up to the old house.
Trees along the fencerow, same old post oaks,
But fence and posts were no longer there.
Covered porch gone, inside, the living room
Floorboards rotted away, where Grandpa
And I listened to Joe Louis fights,
Edward R. Murrow war news from England
And news of the invasion of Sicily,
Our victories and our defeats.
Old wood stove that warmed us all,
That we told stories around no longer there.
Grandpas living room now looked so small.
How could all of us have fit in it?
Grandmas porcelain sink cracked and broken
Was still there, but gone was the old cook stove
That she baked vanilla cookies in.
Out back the old hickory tree had fallen
Across the roof of the house.
I looked at the path through the woods
Where Grandma and I picked Polk salad.
Then I walked up to her old garden spot,
Looked north across an open field,
Where once we raised corn and cotton,
Now covered with grass, but in the center
Remained an old tree that I once climbed.
Though it was summer, spring wild flowers still danced
Out in the open field under the sun.
I walked up to that old oak tree,
Climbed it again, and then went home.
J. Glenn Evans